Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterium that infects the xylem tissues of a wide range of plants. These bacteria has been widespread in the Americas for many years and also occur in Asia. The bacteria are associated with several diseases of crops of economic significance , and has a wide range of host plants, including more than 300 species.
X. fastidiosa is transmitted from plant to plant by xylem-sucking insects. The bacteria can persist in symptomless uncultivated plants, from which insects acquire the bacteria and then pass it to crops. Symptoms of disease are only observed when xylem vessels are extensively colonized by bacteria. The xylem transports water and soluble minerals, nutrients from the roots throughout the plant, and is needed to replace water lost during transpiration and photosynthesis. Xylem vessels are interconnected by bordered pits, which allow the passage of xylem sap, but block the passage of larger objects (such as bacteria).
The control of the movement of potential hosts and insect vectors and the eradication of infected material is currently considered the most effective method of limiting the spread of the disease in the European Union. There is however no method to cure infected plants.
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- Xylella fastidiosa (XYLEFA)[World distribution]| EPPO Global Database. Available at: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/XYLEFA/distribution.