Xylella fastidiosa is so far the only species of the genus Xylella, a proteobactria of the Xanthomonadaceae family. There are six subspecies: X. fastidiosa, X. sandyi, X. multiplex, X. pauca, X. tashke and X. morus. Some strains cause fatal or potentially fatal diseases to diverse species of plants of commercial interest, in particular vine, olive tree, citrus as well as lavender, rosemary, cork oak or common myrtle. The bacteria is transmitted by various species of phloem-feeding insects (thrips, Aphrophoridae, leafhoppers even cicadas).
Xylella appeared in Corsica in July 2015 and a preliminary survey was led to identify the outbreak sites, the insects that are potential vectors and to assess the available knowledge. Phytosanitary and economic stakes are considerable in view of the numerous vegetables of agronomic or forest interest which could be infected.
Martin will collect and analyze distribution data on the bacteria and his vectors in France and Italy. He will develop models of distribution area and complete databases to ensure an effective monitoring of the bacteria's progression. His work will help refining our estimate of the X. fastidiosa risk and declining this risk on a geographical base (GIS).