Project Title:

XF-FREEOLIVE – Multifunctional study of xylem-sap of Portuguese olive cultivars and its relation with susceptibility to infection by Xylella fastidiosa


03/07/2016 – 02/07/2019

Principal Investigator NOVA.id.FCT/FCT-UNL:

Mário Diniz


The early detection of the presence of this pathogen and characterization of the pathosystem will allow drawing timely prevention plans and effective contingency and eradication plans. In Portugal, the olive culture is extremely important, not only because the significant source of income, but also because olive trees are a national icon, along with Quercus suber, being part of Mediterranean landscaping for over 8000 years.

Xf once inoculated into the plant xylem vessels rapidly multiply and forms biofilms capable of blocking xylem (2,3). The xylem is the battleground for plant hosts (4) and its sectored network architecture affects the transport of water, propagation of embolism, plant survival and growth (5). This sectored architecture, what may explain the effect of the irregular distribution of Xf symptoms on olive trees (6). Resistance or susceptibility may depend on Xf ability to survive inside the xylem elements over the winter.