Xylella fastidiosa: knowledge gaps and research priorities for the EU

12 November 2015


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Programme(0.3 Mb)



EFSA will host a workshop on 12-13 November 2015 in Brussels on “Xylella fastidiosa: knowledge gaps and research priorities for the EU”. The workshop will be organised in collaboration with the European Commission’s Directorates-General for Research and Innovation, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Health and Food Safety.

The bacterium Xylella fastidiosa is one of the most dangerous plant pathogens worldwide, damaging important crops including fruit trees, grapevine and ornamentals. Emergency measures have been in place in the EU since the first outbreak of X. fastidiosa in the territory in 2013.

In a Scientific Opinion published in January 2015, EFSA’s Scientific Panel on Plant Health recommended an intensification of research into this pathogen, particularly to fill the large knowledge gaps concerning its biology, epidemiology and control of its vectors and potential vectors. In response to the X. fastidiosa outbreaks in the EU, the European Commission is also looking to bolster research activities on the pathogen.

Furthermore, the European Parliament approved a non-legislative resolution in May 2015 demanding action to halt the spread of the X. fastidiosa outbreaks, including more funding for research, and increased international networking.

Objectives of the meeting

The main objectives of this workshop are to analyse and discuss the uncertainties and knowledge gaps identified in EFSA’s Scientific Opinion and in the conclusions of the workshop on “X. fastidiosa: options for its control” held by the Directorate-General for Research & Innovation in Milan in July 2015, and to propose priorities for future research on X. fastidiosa in the EU.

Structure of the meeting

The workshop will include presentations from keynote speakers and participants, as well as four break-out sessions focusing on important research themes. The overall conclusions from these sessions will then be presented and discussed in a plenary session.

The four break-out sessions will look at:

  1. Surveillance and detection.
  2. The vectors: identity, biology, epidemiology and control.
  3. The plants: host range, breeding, resistance and certification.
  4. The pathogen: biology, genetics, control.

The role of cropping practices and farming systems will also be considered in the break-out sessions.

Each break-out session will be introduced by short presentations from selected participants. All participants will have the opportunity to identify and propose research topics and to take part in the discussions. EFSA will publish a report collecting and summarising the discussions.

Who should attend?

The meeting is intended for all interested scientists and specialists in the area of X. fastidiosa, its vectors and host plants. A maximum of 100 participants can be accommodated, including speakers and other experts already identified by EFSA. The aim is to ensure a balanced representation of the various fields of scientific expertise, the farming systems that may be impacted by X. fastidiosa, and geographical spread.

Online registrations

The registrations are closed. The participants will be informed during the week of 22 October whether or not they have been selected for participation. Please note that the conference will be web streamed. The web streaming link will be available at http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/events/event/151112a on the day of the workshop.

Logistical information

The meeting will be held in Brussels, Belgium, from 08:30-19:00 on 12 November and from 08:30–13:30 on 13 November 2015. Further details on the venue and logistics will be communicated to applicants selected to participate. English will be the official language of the event; no translation will be provided. 

There is no fee for participation, but you will be required to cover expenses related to your travel and accommodation.


Alpha [at] efsa.europa.eu  (content matters) and events [at] efsa.europa.eu () (organisational matters).