EPPO updates standard diagnostic protocols for Xylella fastidiosa

The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) has recently released an updated version of the standard diagnostic protocols for Xylella fastidiosa. The first version of the PM 7-24 procedure was released back  in August 2004.  Afterwards the recent introduction of the bacterium in Europe (Salento, Corsica and the French Riviera), the discovery of important new host species such as olives, the advances in the technical diagnostics and the finding of new bacterial genotypes, implied a revision of the procedures based on the newly available scientific information.

The revised diagnostic procedure, published in the OEPP/EPPO Bulletin, contains sections on symptoms, sampling of plants and vectors, serological and molecular diagnostic methods. A comprehensive bibliography and  15 technical annexes with detailed laboratory protocols are also included.

The protocol was revised by an European Expert Working Group composed of POnTE researchers M. SaponariG. Loconsole (CNR-IPSP, IT), B. LegendreV. OlivierF. Poliakoff (ANSES-LSV, FR) and M. M. Lopez (IVIA, ES), together with M. Bergsma-Vlami (NPPO, NL), R. Gottsberger (AGES, AT), T. Dreo (NIB, SI), S. Loreti, (CREA-PAV, IT) and P. Mueller (JKI, DE). The main world experts on Xylella fastidiosa have also been consulted and provided comments during the preparation of the revision of the protocol: R. Almeida (University of California, US), E. Civerolo (USDA/ARS, US), L. de la Fuente (Auburn University, US) and H. D. Coletta-Filho (APTA-IAC, BR). Following the Country Consultation, the EPPO Panel on Diagnostics in Bacteriology reviewed this revision in June 2016, before submission for final approval to the EPPO council.

As more experience with the diagnosis of Xylella fastidiosa will be gathered in the coming months, the EPPO Secretariat intends to schedule a review of the Protocol at the next Panel on Diagnostics in Bacteriology, scheduled in June 2017.