First report of Xylella fastidiosa subsp. multiplex in Portugal
In December 2018, during official surveys conducted in Portugal, Xylella fastidiosa subsp. multiplex (EPPO A2 List) was found in the municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia (near Porto) in a composite and asymptomatic sample of lavender (Lavandula dentata) collected in a zoo. Another sample was collected from Nerium oleander on the same day from the same location but gave negative results. The infected L. dendata plants were approximately 6 years-old and had been produced from a group of 12 mother plants (more than 10-years old) whose origin is unknown. Measures were taken in accordance with EU Decision 2015/789 to eradicate the disease. A demarcated area was established around the infected plants surrounded by a buffer zone of 5 km radius. The infected zone inludes all plants of L. dentata known to be infected by X. fastidiosa, as well as other potentially infected L. dentata plants. A total of 38 samples were taken from the infected lavender bed and from other lavender beds (sharing the same mother plants); all these plants not being more than 100 m from each other. As a result, 33 plants were found to be infected by X. fastidiosa subsp. multiplex. Two samples of L. angustifolia and Rosmarinus officinalis located in their vicinity were also tested. Although they gave negative results, these plants were also destroyed. Intensive surveys are continuing to identify potential host plants and collect samples. As of January 2019, 158 plant samples have been collected and are being tested.
The pest status of Xylella fastidiosa in Portugal is officially declared as: Present, only in some parts of the Member State concerned, under eradication.
NPPO of Portugal (2019-01).