Conference paper Open Access

Evaluation of olive cultivar effect on the efficiency of the acquisition and transmission of Xylella fastidiosa by Philaenus spumarius (Hemiptera: Aphrophoridae)

Cavalieri, V; . Dongiovanni, C; Altamura, G; Tauro, D; Ciniero, A; Morelli, M; Bosco, D; Saponari, M

The meadow spittlebug Philaenus spumarius (L.) has been identified as vector of Xylella fastidiosa
subsp. pauca strain CoDiRO infecting several host plants in Apulia (Southern Italy), and causing a
major bacterial disease on olive trees. Evidences of differential olive cultivar susceptibility to the
bacterial infections were obtained from phenotypic characterization and molecular investigations.
A higher bacterial population (up to 100 times) was consistently detected in the trees of the most
susceptible cultivars (i.e. Ogliarola and Cellina di Nardò, showing severe symptoms), compared to
the trees of the cultivar Leccino showing milder symptoms and erratic distribution of the
bacterium within the canopy. In order to determine the epidemiological impact of olive trees
harboring low bacterial population, transmission experiments were set under semi-field
conditions, by caging Xf-free adults of P. spumarius on branches of field-infected trees of the
abovementioned cultivars.

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