This multi-industry and multi-sector investment supports the role and activities of a national Xylella coordinator, through the Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative (PBRI). The PBRI supports cross-sectoral research development and extension to minimise the damaging consequences caused by biosecurity threats to Australian plant industries. This includes endemic and exotic pests, diseases and weeds that affect Australia’s plant industries, community and the environment.
Xylella fastidiosa is an exotic bacteria that prevents a plant from feeding by impeding the movement of rising sap. While Australia is currently free from the pathogen, it has the potential to threaten more than 350 commercial, ornamental and native plant species across the country.
The coordinator role includes developing R&D priorities and projects to help protect Australia’s horticulture and wine sectors from Xylella.
A bit more about Xylella fastiodiosa with thanks to Plant Health Australia
- A bacterium that lives in the water conducting system (xylem) of plants
- Can be transmitted in infected propagation material and by leafhoppers such as the exotic glassy-winged sharpshooter
- Present in North America, Central America and some regions of South America. It is present in a restricted range in Italy, Iran and Taiwan, and is under eradication in some other countries in Europe. View a distribution map.
- The diseases caused by Xylella fastidiosa go by a range of names depending on the host species, including: Pierce’s disease, almond leaf scorch, bacterial leaf scorch, citrus variegated chlorosis, olive quick decline and olive leaf scorch.