As published by the European and Mediterranean Organization for the Protection of Plants (EPPO) on its website, the first case of Xylella fastidiosa in Israel has been detected in almonds, specifically in three adjacent commercial orchards in the Hula Valley (northeast part of Israel).
Samples of symptomatic leaves were collected and analyzed in laboratories, using molecular techniques, and the results confirmed the presence of Xylella fastidiosa.
The origin of the disease in Israel is still unknown and inspections are being carried out across the country to verify the absence of the disease in other areas. So far, almonds in other parts of Israel have been inspected and found to be free of the bacterium.
In the infected area, the nurseries were examined and also found to be free of the bacterium. Other potential hosts in the area, such as olive trees, are also free of the Xylella fastidiosa. All Cicadomorpha (including Cicadellidae) in the infected orchards were caught by means of net sweeping and sticky traps. To date, no insect infected with the bacterium has been found.
For now, according to the EPPO, the pest Xylella fastidiosa in Israel is officially declared as present only in one area that is currently under containment.