The bacterium Xylella fastidiosa is a group of subspecies that infects a large number of plants, most of them key crops for the Spanish economy, such as olive trees, grapes, citrus fruits or stone fruit trees. Their damage is unpredictable, and can devastate whole plantations, as has happened in Italy with olive trees.
The next issue of Kiwa Magazine Spain focuses on an in-depth interview with CSIC researcher Alberto Fereres, the number one expert on this scourge of the Spanish countryside. “The key is to stop the disease in time, and for this we must increase our knowledge about what the conditions are that trigger the spread of the bacteria and develop strategies to prevent it“, he says.
According to this expert, who participates in several international programmes on the subject, “we now know which insects are the vector insects, their biological cycle, when the bacteria is transmitted, how it is transmitted and we can even tell by remote sensing when a tree is infected before it shows apparent symptoms of the disease. All this may allow us to slow the progression of the disease, or at least reduce the damage it causes“. In his opinion, “there is not a single piece of information that suggests that clearing an area one hundred metres around each infected tree of vegetation is an effective measure to stop the progression of the disease“.
What Fereres proposes in his interview with Kiwa Magazine Spain is that measures must be taken so that we can coexist with the bacteria and develop preventive methods that minimise its damage. “In this sense, he argues, you can develop genetically resistant or bacteria-tolerant plant varieties“.
You can obtain a copy of the magazine at stand 9F02B at Asociafruit-Cátedra Kiwa, located in Hall 9 of IFEMA during the holding of Fruit Attraction.
For more information, 96 312 07 10 (Pedro.Lopez.Romero@kiwa.es)