Research Shows Leccino Less Susceptible to Xf

According to a new study, the Leccino olive variety appears to be ‘tolerant’ to the attack of the Xylella fastidiosa bacterium that has wiped out large swaths of Italian olive-growing regions.

Leccino olives
By Ylenia Granitto
Jul. 14, 2016 14:11 UTC
Leccino olives

According to new research the vari­ety Leccino appears to be tol­er­ant’ to the attack of the Xylella fas­tidiosa bac­terium.

The study, con­ducted by the Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection IPSP of the National research Council of Italy CNR in Bari and the Department of Science of Soil, Plants And Food DiSSPA of the University of Bari UNIBA, was pub­lished in the inter­na­tional jour­nal BMC Genomics.

Leccino is endowed with an intrin­sic tol­er­ance to Xylella fas­tidiosa- National research Council of Italy CNR in Bari

Researchers com­pared the genetic pro­files of Leccino and Ogliarola salentina infected by the Xylella fas­tidiosa subsp. pauca (Xfp) bac­terium based on field obser­va­tions that sug­gested Xfp-infected plants of Leccino showed much milder symp­toms,” than the more widely grown and highly sus­cep­ti­ble Ogliarola Salentina.

Therefore, researchers noted, to deter­mine whether these field obser­va­tions under­lie a tol­er­ant con­di­tion of cv. Leccino, which could be exploited for less­en­ing the eco­nomic impact of the dis­ease on the local olive indus­try, tran­scrip­tional changes occur­ring in plants of the two cul­ti­vars affected by Xfp were inves­ti­gated.”
See Also:Complete Coverage of the Xylella Fastidiosa Outbreak
The data sug­gest that Xfp elic­its a dif­fer­ent tran­scrip­tome response in the two cul­ti­vars, which deter­mines a lower pathogen con­cen­tra­tion in cv. Leccino and indi­cates that this cul­ti­var may har­bor genetic con­stituents and/or reg­u­la­tory ele­ments which coun­ter­act Xfp infec­tion.” In other words, Leccino is endowed with an intrin­sic tol­er­ance to Xfp.”

In the last few days, Agriculture Minister Maurizio Martina said that a bud­get of €11 mil­lion has been set aside for the Apulian farms affected by the Xf emer­gency. We pro­ceeded to com­plete the process of allot­ment of resources and to sign the decree which allo­cates resources to the region for the recov­ery of the dam­age suf­fered,” the min­is­ter announced dur­ing a par­lia­men­tary ques­tion.

Moreover, MEPs Paolo De Castro and Raffaele Fitto have tabled a ques­tion to the European Commission ask­ing to remove the pro­hi­bi­tion con­cern­ing the plant­ing of host plants in infected zones” (pro­vided for in arti­cle 5 of the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/789), which include the provinces of Lecce and part of Taranto and Brindisi.

The research of IPSP and DiSSPA cor­rob­o­rates the request but it is also a mat­ter of con­cern for those who believe it could encour­age the replace­ment in the infected area with Leccino and other tol­er­ant vari­eties, not native to the region, caus­ing a rad­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion of the ter­ri­tory.

This solu­tion will please those who work to con­vert the Apulian olive grow­ing in inten­sive and super-inten­sive, call­ing for a revi­sion of the laws on cut­ting down of mon­u­men­tal olive trees,” con­sid­ered an inde­pen­dent local mag­a­zine.

However, researchers noted that these pre­lim­i­nary data need exten­sive lab­o­ra­tory and field eval­u­a­tion before a prac­ti­cal exploita­tion of the cv. Leccino for the man­age­ment of Xfp in olives.”


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