Italy’s olive trees are dying

Published on Mar 10, 2019

For thousands of years olive trees have sustained the Puglia region of Italy, producing 40 percent of the nation’s olive oil. But now a pathogen from the New World is threatening to destroy this plant and the livelihoods of olive farmers. Seth Doane reports on efforts to halt the spread of xylella fastidiosa, which is killing olive trees by the millions.

4 thoughts on “Italy’s olive trees are dying

  1. “But now a pathogen from the New World is threatening to destroy this plant and the livelihoods of olive farmers.”

    Olive oil is one of the healthiest foods on the planet.

    I doubt this is ‘accidental’ in any way.

    And we all know who would be behind something like THAT.

  2. Hard to put into words how much this pains me; almost as much as someone going after my 2nd Article right.

    🙁 🙁 🙁


  3. Description and significance

    Xylella fastidiosa is a pathogenic bacterium that infects plants, causing a variety of diseases in over 100 plant species, including grapevine, citrus, almonds, coffee, and many other species of economic importance. Among the diseases it causes are Pierce’s Disease in grapevine, Citrus Variegated Chlorosis (CVC) in oranges, and leaf scorch diseases in almond, coffee, and oleander. It was first discovered associated with Pierce’s Disease in southern California grapevines in 1973, and first grown in culture in 1978 (1). It was then identified as the agent that causes CVC in 1993, a disease first discovered in Brazil in 1987 (2). X. fastidiosa exclusively colonizes the xylem, the water-conducting systems of plants, forming biofilms, and is transmitted from plant to plant by xylem-feeding leafhopper insects, including the glassy-winged sharpshooter. It poses a serious agricultural and economic threat, as it is responsible for major crop losses globally, and is included in the federal government’s Agricultural Select Agent list (3). Because of its public importance as an agricultural threat, genomic studies of different host plant strains have been underway in an attempt to gain insight into virulence factors, and consequently the development of microbiological control and disease management strategies.

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