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BBC report on using dogs’ sense of smell to scout Xf infected plants

Jan 18, 2023 | News, Uncategorized

The BBC Future Planet published an extensive report on the use of dogs’ sense of smell to identify plants infected by Xylella fastidiosa. The “Xylella Detection Dogs” initiative started in Apulia, Italy, in 2020 thanks to the BeXyl Project‘s partner UNAPROL. Building on the success of the experiments on canines’ detecting Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (the bacterium causing “citrus greening” disease) in citrus, BeXyl Project aims at assessing and developing dog-assisted methods to detect early stage, asymptomatic X. fastidiosa infections.

Currently, training activities focus on obedience and sensitization to X. fastidiosa subsp. pauca strain De Donno ST53 (the causal agent of olive quick decline syndrome) cultures on agar plates, using scent boxes and the pairing approach.

In the BeXyl Project frame, new experiments will include training dogs on different olive cultivars, infected and non-infected, symptomatic and non-symptomatic. Researchers will also assess and validate dog performances ‘on the ground’ in nurseries. Finally, specialized diagnostic laboratories participating in the BeXyl Project will evaluate the performance of canine detection compared to standard diagnostics methods.

Xylella seminars: behind the scenes of the Xf comic strip

Xylella seminars: behind the scenes of the Xf comic strip

Next Tuesday (5 March), Miguel Ángel Miranda (University of Balearic Islands), Ewelina Czwienczek (EFSA) and illustrator Miriam Rivera will present "Communicating plant health to the general public: the making of the Xylella comic". The presentation is part of the...

Xf subspecies ‘fastidiosa’ found on almond trees in Apulia

Xf subspecies ‘fastidiosa’ found on almond trees in Apulia

Checks carried out by the Phytosanitary Observatory of the Region of Apulia on insect vectors of Xylella fastidiosa have led to the identification of six almond trees in the province of Bari that are positive for the fastidiosa subspecies of the bacterium, according...

BeXyl is hiring experts in data analysis and modelling

BeXyl is hiring experts in data analysis and modelling

The BeXyl coordinating organisation IAS-CSIC is recruiting experts in data analysis and modelling. The research objectives are to analyse the environmental suitability for plant pathogens in crops and natural vegetation using epidemiological models; to identify plant...

BeXyl, EFSA and Auburn University launch Xylella Seminars

BeXyl, EFSA and Auburn University launch Xylella Seminars

The BeXyl Project, EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) and Auburn University are pleased to announce the launch of Xylella Seminars, a new cycle of international scientific webinars on Xylella fastidiosa. The series follows the inspiring path of the Xylella Files,...