The Regional Phytosanitary Service of Tuscany (Italy), within the framework of its official Xylella fastidiosa monitoring campaign, discovered for the first time in the region, in the promontory of Argentario, an outbreak of the bacterium. Preliminary investigations have revealed that the strain detected could belong to the subspecies multiplex, so far never found in Italy, but present in France (Corsica and PACA region) and Spain, and different from the subspecies pauca, the one present in Apulia.
Forty-one plants have been found positive to the bacterium, following more than 1000 samples analysed in the area involved, located near the town of Porto Santo Stefano (Grosseto), separated from the rest of Tuscany by the lagoon of Orbetello. The plants found infected included broom, myrtle-leaf milkwort, Calicotome spp., rosemary, lavender, Cistus spp., Eleagnus spp. and three almond trees. Repeated analyses have not revealed any infection in olive trees.
The phytosanitary measures of eradication provided by national and EU legislation will be applied forthwith. A demarcated area will be established, comprising the infected area, where the positive plants have been identified, and a 5 km buffer zone around it, where an extensive monitoring will be carried out.