An assessment of Italian olive trees infected with Xylella fastidiosa has shown that whilst symptoms may be reduced, treatments do not eliminate the pathogen from infected plants.
Some trees in Italy’s olive growing heartland Puglia have been treated in a bid to contain and prevent the bacterial disease from spreading across the region and decimating southern Italy’s olive sector.
Although some treated plants have shown visible signs of improvements such as growing more leaves per branch and producing consistent olive yields, the disease is still present.
Over several months researchers from the University of Foggia and a council for agricultural research in the agrarian economy, CREA, have been analyzing treatments and have now passed on some of their assessments to the European Food Safety Authority’s Panel on Plant Health.
The Panel also examined treatments used elsewhere to control bacterial infections in citrus, apple, pear and grape vines.