Xylella: 37 new plant species added to host list

Thirty-seven new plant species have been identified as hosts of the Xylella 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 EFSA’s database of plants that act as hosts for X. fastidiosa. The list now comprises 595 plant species; for 343 of the species, 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.

The database provides essential evidence to scientists and risk assessors and supports risk managers in carrying out surveillance and other phytosanitary measures, such as inspections of plants for planting.

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