Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Paola studied Media Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London, and specialised in Cinematography. Xylella fastidiosa can infect cherry, almond and plum trees as well as olives. is one of the most dangerous plant bacteria worldwide, causing a variety of diseases, with huge economic impact for agriculture, public gardens and the environment. The disease caused rapid decline in olive grove yields and by April 2015 was affecting the whole Province of Lecce and other zones of Apulia even though it had not previously been confirmed in Europe. The growing problem of Xylella and a resulting disease known as Olive Quick Decline (OQD) has been catastrophic in Italy and other countries in southern Europe, where it has wiped out many ancient olive groves. It’s also been selected for the Golden Short Film Festival, New York International Film Awards, Docs Without Borders Film Festival and Prisma Rome Independent Film Awards. Since it was first found in Puglia, Italy in 2013, Xylella fastiosa has since completely wiped out entire olive groves wherever it has passed. “So this plant entered Italy, Salento where the bacterium found an ideal environment which allowed it to spread,” says Adriano Abate, Director of Confagricoltura, the General Confederation of Italian Agriculture, whose entire 15 hectare olive grove was sadly and completely destroyed by Xylella. Is your olive tree looking scorched and not thriving as it should? Xylella (Xylella fastidiosa) is a bacterial pest that causes a number of harmful plant diseases. Currently there is no cure or antidote to stop the disease, hence initial measure to contain the bacterium were crucial. The subspecies involved in Italy is X. fastidiosa subsp. Paola Ghislieri is an award winning Italian filmmaker and director who has made a short documentary titled Xylella Fastidiosa – The Apocalypse of Salento about the effects of the deadly Xylella disease on the historic olive trees in Puglia, Italy. Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) is one of the top 10 plant pathogenic bacteria [ 1] and is the cause of an environmental emergency within the European Union (EU). The cultural heritage value would be far larger than we could compute.”. Spread by insects Philaenus spumarius (better known as the Meadow Spittlebug) that fly from tree to tree, the bacterium causes the Olive Quick Decline Syndrome OQDS (or CoDiRO) and poses a potential major threat to olive plantations in Greece, Italy, and Spain, as these countries account for around 95% of European olive oil production. Xylella Fastidiosa and Olives Olive tree Xylella disease has wreaked havoc on the olive … “It’s had a severe impact on the local economy and jobs connected with agriculture.”. Xyella, which is spread by sap-sucking insects, affects the olive tree’s ability to absorb water and nutrients. By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer. Sign up for our newsletter. Regulatory measures were enacted in response to the detection of the subsp. “It’s the same orchard that their grandparents were once working on. “You really hear devastating stories of infected orchards that were inherited over generations,” said lead researcher Dr. Kevin Schneider from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. “Seeking resistant cultivars or immune species is one of the most promising, and environmentally sustainable, long-term control strategies to which the European scientific community is devoting relevant research efforts,” said Dr Saponari. Paola decided to pursue her passion for filmmaking and Xylella Fastidiosa – The Apocalypse of Salento is her first independent documentary, which she produced, directed and edited. Paola decided to make a documentary about the impact of the arrival of Xylella in Apulia, giving a voice to local farmers, agronomists, olive mill owners and farm workers, and their timid sign of hope for a new form of olive cultivation. A similar scenario in Italy would amount to over five billion, while in Greece, the losses are calculate to total almost €2 billion. Xylella fastidiosa is one of the most dangerous plant-pathogenic bacteria worldwide. Researchers say the economic costs of the deadly pathogen affecting olive trees in Europe could exceed €20 billion. Olive tree Xylella disease is feared by olive growers around the world. Olive tree Xylella disease has wreaked havoc on the olive industry. Infected olive tree (bacterium Xylella fastidiosa), Salento, Italy The latest Xylella fastidiosa outbreak in Puglia showed how easily the bacteria spreads beyond the already identified areas of containment and observation. Xylella (Xylella fastidiosa) is a bacterial pest that causes a number of harmful plant diseases. It has, however, become closely associated with olives after a strain was discovered in trees in Puglia in Italy in 2013 and since then has completely wiped out entire olive groves wherever it has passed. Additionally, an olive tree with Xylella usually displays desiccated fruit and an over-abundance of suckers. What is Xylella? pauca which shows a marked preference for olive trees and warm conditions and is thought unlikely to spread to Northern Europe. Within the EU, notorious olive blight Xylella fastidiosa has the potential to cause an annual production loss of €5.5b per year. Whilst most research studies relating to the spread of Xylella fastidiosa look at economics, there are also potentially large touristic and cultural losses caused by the bacterium that can’t be ignored. In October 2013, the bacterium was found infecting olive trees in the region of Apulia in southern Italy. As a result, the tree takes on a scorched appearance. “The damage to the olives also causes a depreciation of the value of the land, and to the touristic attractiveness of this region,” said Dr Maria Saponari, from the CNR Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection in Italy. The bacterium has also now been found in France and Portugal. Xylella fastidiosa is one of the most dangerous plant-pathogenic bacteria worldwide. So far, it is known to affect hundreds of different plants and trees in temperate climates around the world. It’s also important to encourage natural predators such as parasitic wasps and dragonflies. The bacterium spread from olive grove to olive grove, completely annihilating entire properties.