The noto­ri­ous crop waist­ing scourge, Xylella fas­tidiosa has been detected in Israel. The pathogen is con­fined to Almond nurs­eries in the Hula Valley but stands poised to creep south to the Lower Galilee’s Olive Oil region.

EPPO (an inter­gov­ern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tion respon­si­ble for coop­er­a­tion in plant health within the Euro-Mediterranean region) made the infor­ma­tion avail­able on its web­site recently as part of the ongo­ing effort to help track and con­tain Xylella.

The pathogen trans­mits its destruc­tive effect from host plants via insects and con­sid­er­ing that the Lower Galilee is but a scant hour’s drive; it is more than pos­si­ble for the mer­ci­less dis­ease to spread there.

How the pathogen first arrives in the Hula Valley is as yet unknown. Fortunately, no almond leaves sam­pled from out­side the Hula Valley have tested pos­i­tive so far and the olive groves have also escaped infec­tion so far. The nurs­eries in the region remain on high alert con­sid­er­ing the pathogen can afflict any of 100 plant species world­wide.



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