Studies on the transmission of Xylella fastidiosa by Philaenus spumarius in Puglia, Italy
The detection of Xylella fastidiosa in October 2013 in olive trees affected by a quick decline syndrome on the west coast of the Salento peninsula in Italy (EPPO RS 2013/184), prompted research for potential insect vectors of the bacterium. A three month survey was carried out to determine which xylem feeding insect species were occurring in affected olive orchards. Results showed that the dominant species was Philaenus spumarius (Hemiptera: Aphrophoridae) which made up 60% of the collected specimens; 30% were identified as Euscelis lineolatus (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), and the remaining 10% were not identified. In November 2013, adults of P. spumarius were collected from ground vegetation in olive orchards infested by X. fastidiosa. PCR showed that 67% (40 out of 60) of the collected specimens tested positive for X. fastidiosa. The bacterium was not detected in E. lineolatus. Transmission tests using field-collected insects showed that P. spumarius transmitted the X. fastidiosa Salento strain to periwinkle test plants. In these preliminary tests, transmission was not obtained to olive trees but research will continue.
Saponari M, Loconsole G, Cornara D, Yokomi RK, de Stradis A, Boscia D, Bosco D, Martelli GP, Krugner R, Porcelli F (2014) Infectivity and transmission of Xylella fastidiosa by Philaenus spumarius (Hemiptera: Aphrophoridae) in Apulia, Italy. Journal of Economic Entomology 107(4), 1316-1319.