Xylella: water treatment effective on grapevines

Hot water treatment (HWT) is a reliable method for controlling Xylella fastidiosa in dormant grapevine planting material, EFSA has concluded.

HWT is used successfully to eliminate the phytoplasma disease flavescence dorée from dormant grapevine planting material (cuttings and grafts), meaning that the material can be safely traded to protected zones in the EU. EFSA was therefore asked by the European Commission to assess whether the treatment could also sanitise Vitis sp. plants against X. fastidiosa.

The Authority’s Panel on Plant Health (PLH) concluded that the HWT procedure for flavescence dorée – whereby dormant plants and plant parts are submerged for 45 minutes in water heated to 50C – is also effective against X. fastidiosa on grapevines.

For its Scientific Opinion, the PLH Panel reviewed technical guidelines submitted by the Italian authorities and advice from the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), and carried out an extensive literature search.

Hot water treatment of Vitis sp. for Xylella fastidiosa

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