First report of Xylella fastidiosa in France
The NPPO of France recently informed the EPPO Secretariat of the first record of Xylella fastidiosa (EPPO A1 List) on its territory. During an official visual inspection, carried out in the framework of the surveillance programme against X. fastidiosa, a hedge of 31 desiccated plants of Polygala myrtifolia was observed on 2015-07-20, on the island of Corsica. This hedge was located along a wall, near a parking lot, in a commercial area of the municipality of Propriano (Corse du Sud department). Samples were collected and tested (real-time PCR, IF) by the ANSESreference laboratory. The identity of the bacterium was confirmed on 2015-07-22 and serological tests revealed a high concentration of the bacterium in tested plant tissues. The isolation of the bacterium on growing medium is under way and results will probably be obtained within 3 to 4 weeks. It is suspected that infected P. myrtifolia plants had been imported from another EU member state, but a study is being carried out to confirm this. All infected P. myrtifolia plants were destroyed by burning on 2015-07-23.
In accordance with a contingency plan, official phytosanitary measures were immediately taken to eradicate the disease (e.g. insecticide treatments, plant destruction). An infected area with a radius of 100 m around infected plants has been demarcated, as well as a buffer zone with a 10 km radius. Further studies are being made to determine the extent of the infected area. All known host plants of X. fastidiosa located in the infected area, as well as any plant showing suspicious symptoms, are being destroyed. In the infected area, the following host plants were present: Rosmarinus officinalis, Westringia, Polygala myrtifolia and Olea europaea (as explained above, only P. myrtifolia plants were found to be infected). On 2015-07-22, insects were collected by aspiration and specimens are being identified by the entomology laboratory of Anses. Finally, an information campaign has been launched, in particular to warn passengers that they should not bring plants into Corsica.
The pest status of Xylella fastidiosa in France is officially declared as:
Corsica: Transient, actionable, under eradication.
Mainland: Absent, intercepted only.
NPPO of France (2015-07).
Avis aux voyageurs pour la Corse
Arrêté du 24 juillet 2015 définissant une zone délimitée vis-à-vis de Xylella fastidiosa et les mesures de lutte applicables