`Andalusia Declared Free of Xylella - Olive Oil Times

Andalusia Declared Free of Xylella

By Costas Vasilopoulos
Apr. 24, 2020 10:03 UTC

The Regional Government of Andalusia has offi­cially noti­fied the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture that the region is now free of the Xylella fas­tidiosa bac­terium, after its detec­tion in 2018 on orna­men­tal plants at a nurs­ery in El Ejido in the Almeria province of the region.

The regional author­i­ties acted accord­ing to the National Contingency Plan of the coun­try in place to deal with such inci­dences, the gov­ern­men­t’s notice said.

The infected plant mate­r­ial was iso­lated and destruc­ted, while the nurs­ery owner was com­pen­sated for dam­age inflicted. Plant mate­r­ial prone to infec­tion from two other nurs­ery facil­i­ties that had sup­plied the El Ejido nurs­ery was also iso­lated and retained by min­istry tech­ni­cians.

Surveillance actions were imple­mented over a period of two years, includ­ing the col­lec­tion and exam­i­na­tion of 936 tree and crop sam­ples from the three nurs­eries. Consequent analy­ses car­ried out at the Plant Production and Health Laboratory of Almeria showed no infec­tion from the pathogen.

An inspec­tion zone of one kilo­me­ter was cre­ated around the nurs­ery facil­i­ties and 741 sam­ples of 28 dif­fer­ent plant species were exam­ined for infec­tion over the two-year sur­veil­lance period, among them olive and almond trees that are par­tic­u­larly sus­cep­ti­ble to Xylella, with results show­ing no con­t­a­m­i­na­tion.

At the same time, the min­istry experts exam­ined whether vec­tor host insects that could dis­perse the dis­ease existed in the area. Two adult spec­i­mens of the Neophilaenus campestris, a pos­si­ble Xylella car­rier, were cap­tured and tested neg­a­tive to the bac­terium as well.

After all the checks and con­trols were com­pleted, the regional gov­ern­ment announced the erad­i­ca­tion of Xylella fas­tidiosa in Andalusia after the iso­lated detec­tion of this bac­terium reg­is­tered in 2018 on an orna­men­tal species present in a pro­ducer nurs­ery located in El Ejido.”

In 2017, almond trees in Valencia were found to have been infected with Xylella. Officials destroyed some 300 olive trees as a pre­cau­tion and sprayed the area for insects such as cicadas and spit­tle­bugs that are known to spread the dis­ease.

In 2016, a study con­firmed the absence of Xylella in a range of the region’s agri­cul­ture. The 600 tests were admin­is­tered on olive, almond, and cit­rus trees, as well as orna­men­tal plants — and all in the Andalusian regions of Almería, Granada, Málaga, and Jaén.


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