Xylella: 37 new plant species added to host list

05 May 2020

Article: 54/1808

Thirty-seven new plant species have been identified as hosts of the Xylella fastidiosa (X. fastidiosa) pathogen. Most were naturally (not artificially) infected, and were found both in EU countries (France, Italy, Portugal and Spain) and non-EU countries (USA and Iran). The new hosts include common ornamental, wild and commercial plants such as fleabane (Erigeron sp.), Helichrysum stoechas, pistachio (Pistacia vera), and persimmon (Diospyros kaki).

The newly identified hosts are included in the latest update of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Xylella ssp. host plant database, which now comprises 595 plant species, including 343 where the infection has been identified by at least two detection methods under natural or experimental conditions.

The update was completed following a comprehensive search of the latest scientific literature and notifications to the EU’s plant health interception service Europhyt, as well results from EFSA’s own horizon-scanning activities.

Some existing data on X. fastidiosa strains and geographical coordinates have been updated or modified to increase the accuracy and consistency of the database.

Source: EFSA, 28 April 2020