Olive Quick Decline Syndrome

The Olive Quick Decline Syndrome is an emerging disease in Italian olive groves. The disease causes withering and desiccation of terminal shoots, distributed randomly at first but which then expands to the rest of the canopy. This results in the collapse and death of the trees. In the affected groves, all of the trees show symptoms. By the beginning of 2015 it had infected up to a million trees in the southern Italian region of Apulia.
Olive Quick Decline Syndrome, also known in Italian as complesso del disseccamento rapido dell'olivo, is caused by a bacterium Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) which is an important plant pathogen that causes phoney peach disease in the southern United States, bacterial leaf scorch, oleander leaf scorch and Pierce's disease (in grapevines), and citrus variegated chlorosis disease in Brazil.

Almond, oleander and cherry trees, growing near affected olive trees and showing symptoms of leaf scorch, also tested positive for the bacterium. The bacterium is spread by several species of minuscule insects that infect trees while feeding off the leaves.

More information can be read here.

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