Plants

Latest Developments of Xylella fastidiosa in the EU territory

Latest Developments of Xylella fastidiosa in the EU territory

Xylella fastidiosa is regularly discussed at the monthly meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed - Section Plant Health - with Member States. The reports are available here.

On 1st December, Commissioner Andriukaitis and ministers from various Member States met in Paris in a high-level conference co-organized by the European Commission and the French ministry of Agriculture. See below the conclusions of this meeting:

Italy

In October 2013, the Italian Authorities notified the Commission of the first outbreak of X. fastidiosa subspecies pauca in the south of Apulia. The demarcated area has been updated on several occasions to address the situation in the Provinces concerned of Lecce, Taranto and Brindisi (see demarcated area). Several appeals to the Court have slowed down the removal of infected olive trees located in the last 20 km of the infected zone, adjacent to the buffer zone. Survey activities are ongoing. Several infected plants have recently been detected in the buffer zone, showing the continued progression of the bacterium towards the north of the region. X. fastidiosa has mainly infected olive trees, although the range of host plants increases as investigations progress (see Commission database of host plants found infected in the Union territories). No infections have been confirmed so far on Vitis and Citrus. In May 2015 the infected zone was declared area under containment. Movement of specified plants out of demarcated area is currently not authorised, except for grapevine nursery material subject to hot water treatment.

France

In July 2015, the French Authorities notified the Commission of the first outbreak of X. fastidiosa subspecies multiplex in Corsica. Investigations are in progress: 25 outbreaks have been detected in PACA (departments: Var and Alpes-Maritimes) and some 350 in Corsica (see demarcated areas). The presence of X. fastidiosa subsp. pauca has also been detected in one outbreak in PACA (Menton). Movement of specified plants out of Corsica and PACA is currently not authorised. Survey activities continue in the buffer zones of the outbreak areas in PACA to provide a clear idea about the status of Xylella in those areas. As X. fastidiosa is considered to be established, the entire territory of Corsica was declared as area under containment on 14 December 2017. Ornamental plants, such as Polygala myrtifolia, are the main host plants affected, although new plant species are detected as investigations progress (see Commission database of host plants found infected in the Union territories).

Germany

In June 2016, the German Authorities notified an isolated finding of Xylella fastidiosa subspecies fastidiosa in a potted plant of oleander located in a greenhouse of a small nursery of Saxony (see demarcated area). Since then several other potted plants such as rosemary and other hybrid ornamental plants have been detected in the nursery. All plants from the nursery were destroyed. Surveys in the buffer zone have so far not detected further presence of the pest.

Spain

In October 2016, the Spanish Authorities notified the Commission of the first outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa subspecies fastidiosa on three young cherry trees located in a garden centre of Mallorca. Since then a number of outbreaks has been detected in the Baleares, leading to the detection of different subspecies:

  • Xylella fastidiosa subspecies fastidiosa (Mallorca),

  • Xylella fastidiosa subspecies multiplex (Mallorca and Menorca),

  • Xylella fastidiosa subspecies pauca (Ibiza).

Wild and cultivated olive trees, vines and almond trees are the main host plants, although new plant species are detected as investigations progress (see Commission database of host plants found infected in the Union territories). Because X. fastidiosa is considered to be established on the islands, the entire territory of Baleares was declared as area under containment on 14 December 2017 (see demarcated area). Movement of specified plants out of the Baleares is currently not authorised.

On 30 June 2017, the Spanish Authorities also notified the presence of X. fastidiosa subsp. multiplex in Alicante (Valencia). Almond plants are the only host plants found infected so far, but surveys activities are ongoing with movement restrictions in place (see demarcated area).

Rest of the EU territory

All Member States must carry out annual surveys for the presence of Xylella fastidiosa in their territory on the entire list of specified plants. Any positive finding must be reported to the Commission and other Member States at the latest within 8 working days following the day of confirmation of the presence of Xylella fastidiosa.

At the present time, the Union territory with the exception of the officially demarcated areas is considered free from Xylella fastidiosa based on official surveys. For example, in 2016, 40,600 inspections with 20,000 samples were analysed in garden centers, nurseries and other sites across the Union territory, with the exclusion of the demarcated areas. In the demarcated areas established in the Union territory, instead, more than 110,000 samples were analysed in 2016.