What is it?
Xylella Fastidiosa is a bacterium presumably arrived from South America, which leads to rapid drying and death of olive trees. It does that by blocking the vessel of the plant, which aliments the tree with water and necessary nutriments. With his veins blocked, the tree slowly dries out ultimately dies.
The bacterium not only affects olive trees. Many species of plants, also fruiting plants with great agro-economic interest belonging to the genus Vitis, Citrus, almond, peach, oleander, can be affected by it. Even more, the bacterium has a great recombinant force, making its advance or evolution unpredictable.
How is it spreading?
Xylella is carried by a small vector insect. Philenus Spumarius, commonly called sputacchina, it is the main cause of the exponential spread of Xylella Fastidiosa throughout the province of Lecce and beyond. Other species are also proven to be carrier of the bacterium.
Where is it Spreading?
Officially introduced on Italian territory since 2013, in two years it already spread to more than 230,000 hectares. It arrived in Galipoli, in the south-eastern point of Italy, and is now advancing/moving towards the north across the region of Puglia. Today the advancement of the bacterium is estimated at around 30 km per year.
Sadly, Xylella already crossed boarders, infecting parts of Spain and Corsica in France. This makes it not only an Italian problem but a Mediterranean problem, and it’s spreading fast.