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Workshop on detection of Xylella fastidiosa - a major new threat to UK plant health - PH0477

Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterium which can cause disease in a wide range of woody commercial plants such as grapevine, citrus, olive and several species of broadleaf trees widely grown in the UK, as well as many herbaceous plants. It is considered absent from the UK but there is a heightened risk of accidental introduction since its discovery in Italy in 2013 and then in Corsica and mainland France in 2015. There has already been at least one interception in the UK of an imported ornamental coffee plant found to be infected with X. fastidiosa.
Surveys for potentially affected trees in Britain during 2015 have so far returned a small number of symptomatic samples, but all proved negative for X. fastidiosa. Currently several laboratories in the UK already have or are likely to undertake testing of material suspected of being infected by X. fastidiosa but no consistent approach or methodology has been discussed or agreed between these laboratories. This work seeks to co-ordinate the methods and approaches deployed by the various laboratories through a training workshop to be hosted in the UK.
Objectives of the proposed work are to:
1. Provide a workshop to co-ordinate, inform and train representatives from UK diagnostic laboratories on the detection of Xylella fastidiosa subspecies, building on expertise already present elsewhere in Europe.
2. Use the workshop as a platform to achieve a consistent approach between the various UK diagnostic laboratories for subsequent detection and diagnosis of X. fastidiosa regardless of plant material or subspecies.
3. Underpin preparedness of UK diagnostic laboratories to ‘ramp up’ processes for the detection of X. fastidiosa, in the event of an increased number of samples being submitted for diagnosis.
4. Increase levels of communication between the various UK diagnostic laboratories.
5. Provide diagnosticians with ‘hands on’ experience for methodologies and best practice for diagnosis X. fastidiosa and through the wider meeting update scientists, policy advisors and practitioners with research evidence that can be used to underpin risk assessment and contingency planning.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2016

To: 2016

Cost: £7,979
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Forest Research Agency
Plant diseases              
Plant health              
Fields of Study
Plant Health