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.