In the last five years, Xylella fastidiosa spread towards the north of Apulia has slowed down, data presented at the 4th European Conference on Xylella fastidiosa show. More recently, the epidemic in the south of the region attenuated, Donato Boscia from IPSP-CNR said in his presentation.
The main drivers of the first trend are climatic conditions that are less suitable for Xylella, a lower presence of vector insects (the spittlebug Philaenus spumarius), and a more systematic application of good agronomic and phytosanitary practices, combined with the full implementation of the containment measures.
As for the second phenomenon, new symptoms of desiccation are milder and less frequent, Boscia illustrated. Research is underway, he added, to understand the reasons for a partial recovery of some olive groves with precise varietal and age characteristics. In addition to the replanting with resistant varieties, the main reason of the epidemic mitigation seems to lie in the substantial reduction of the ‘inoculum reservoir,’ which is leading to a considerable decrease in vectors and, consequently, in the continuous reinfection of the plants.