This opinion addresses a request from the European Commission to evaluate whether heterogeneous populations of Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca have been found in Apulia (Italy) in addition to the strain named CoDiRO. After reviewing the most recent scientific literature and conducting further sequence analysis of the housekeeping genes used to genotype X. fastidiosa from Apulia, the EFSA Panel on Plant Health concluded that the currently available scientific evidence does not support the notion of the existence of heterogeneous populations of X. fastidiosa in Apulia. To reach this conclusion, several lines of arguments have been considered: (i) the currently accepted multilocus sequence analysis (MLST) approach provides a robust and sensitive framework to estimate X. fastidiosa diversity, which may be further improved by whole genome sequence analysis; (ii) all scientific papers evaluated on X. fastidiosa in Apulia come to the conclusion that – notwithstanding host and location – X.
The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on urgent review of statements on Xylella fastidiosa and its control Claude Bragard, Leonardo De La Fuente, Marie-Agnès Jacques and Stephan Winter for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion and EFSA staff members Miren Andueza and Sara Tramontini for the support provided to this scientific opinion.