Xylella fastidiosa, which causes Pierce’s Disease in grapevines, already known to impact more than 350 commercial and ornamental plant species, has increased its host range to 563 species, according to recent work from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The EFSA provides independent scientific advice to the decision makers who regulate food safety in Europe.

The update includes the latest information about the biology and distribution of Xylella inside and outside the EU, as well as information about the presence and distribution of insect vectors in Europe. It also includes detailed information about European outbreaks and the plant species affected.

The oldest publications retrieved through the EFSA’s literature search on Xylella were published in the USA in 1930 on peaches and the most recent was on olive quick decline syndrome in southern Italy in December 2017, with the highest number of publications in a year noted in 2007.

This increase in host species further contributes to Xylella’s potential to cause significant damage to a range of Australian commercial and ornamental plant species should it enter and establish here.

The bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa, which must be vectored into host plants, was named the number one unwanted plant pest for Australia in 2016, due to its rapid impact, very wide host range and global spread. Xylella is currently found in Europe, Asia, Middle East, North America, Central America and South America.

For further information about Xylella fastidiosa, click here: https://vinehealth.com.au/pests-and-diseases/exotic-pests-diseases-to-australia/xylella-fastidiosa/.

To read the full EFSA report, click here: https://vinehealth.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Update-of-the-Xylella-Host-Plant-Database-EFSA_Journal-July-2018.pdf