Daniele Cornara; Anna Markheiser; Marina Morente Díaz; Nicola Bodino.
The Gram-negative bacterium Xylella fastidiosa causes disease in a number of important crops and plants within natural ecosystems.
Most notable among these diseases are Pierce’s disease of grapevine, Citrus Variegated Chlorosis, Almond Leaf Scorch, Oleander Leaf Scorch and Olive Quick Decline Syndrome. In response to substantial economic losses, extensive research efforts have been underway over the past several decades in North and South America.
Recently, X. fastidiosa has been detected in several countries of Europe and Asia, likely appearing as a result of global trading of plant material. Once established in a new region, X. fastidiosa spread is dependent on the obligate transmission by xylem-sap feeding insects. Sharpshooter leafhoppers (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Cicadellinae) are the best-studied group of vectors of this bacterium; however the list of known vector species is expanding.
As X. fastidiosa moves into new regions, the combination of an introduced pathogen with existing or introduced vectors carries the potential of increasing economically important disease problems in the local context. By reviewing ecological and biological information of known X. fastidiosa vectors and the epidemiology of local X. fastidiosa outbreaks, this paper aims at increasing our understanding of vector-X. fastidiosa interactions.
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