University of Girona

Natural solution against Xylella fastidiosa identified

Xylella fastidiosa is considered one of the main threats to agriculture. It is a bacteria responsible for the general wilting or decay, in some more acute cases of the dry leaves and branches and, finally, the death of the whole plant. Until now, the only control measures to prevent its spread are the demarcation of the area where its presence is detected and the eradication of the affected crop.

Still, these actions have not prevented the spread of this bacteria worldwide, with the social and economic impact that this entails. Hence the urgent need to have effective solutions for its control.

A natural solution that comes after more than five years of work by the Development Department of LAINCO, in collaboration with the Center for Innovation and Development in Plant Health (CIDSAV) of the University of Girona, for the effective control and prevention of Xylella fastidiosa, as well as for other bacterial diseases such as those caused by Pseudomonas syringae in kiwi or tomato, Xanthomonas arboricola in stone and almond fruit or Erwinia amylovora in pear.

LAINCO, a Spanish company specialized in the research, development and manufacture of crop protection solutions, began to work on the search for natural solutions for the control of bacterial diseases in 2016, given the problems that Xylella fastidiosa and the main strains identified could cause in agriculture worldwide.

Based on the study of the properties of some essential oils in which LAINCO was already working, the R&D Department began testing eucalyptus essential oil against Xylella fastidiosa, achieving excellent results and initiating a collaboration protocol with the Center for Innovation and Development in Plant Health (CIDSAV) of the University of Girona, directed by Dr. Emilio Montesinos.

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