March 2019
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Year 2018

Work in progress against Xylella

Paris – A task force of international experts is working tirelessly to gain ground in the fight against Xylella fastidiosa. This terrible bacterium has a devastating effect on olive trees, causing them to dry out rapidly.  

The Executive Secretariat of the IOC, through the Unit and Department dealing with technology and the environment, respectively headed by Abdelkrim Adi and Catarina Bairrao Balula, took part in a seminar in Paris aiming to disseminate scientific information for implementation against this terrible bacterium. In this enterprise, the IOC is joining forces with the University of Bari; the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO); the Stichting Nederlandse Algemene Kwaliteitsdienst Tuinbouw (Naktuinbouw – The Netherlands),  and the Intersectoral Centre for Nursery Activities (CIVI – Italy).

The pool of experts has analysed the state of progress of the control tests carried out against the bacterium and the results of these should be published in April. Examples of how to prevent the spread of bacteria have been identified also through the analysis of the plant health prevention standards adopted in the UK and in the Australian Biosecurity Industry.  

A new chapter in the fight against Xylella will see the IOC and the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) planning an international symposium, drawing together the top experts in this area to counter this rapid drying phenomenon in olive trees. The seminar is part of an agreement for institutional collaboration established last year in Rome through the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the parties.