December 2020
News & Events
Follow up on the results achieved by the XF-ACTORS research teams during 2020  
Early detection with drones, one step forward

"Detection of Xylella fastidiosa infection symptoms with airborne multispectral and thermal imagery: Assessing bandset reduction performance from hyperspectral analysis"

In 2018, scientists found that images taken with hyperspectral and thermal cameras on aircraft could often reveal Xylella fastidiosa infection in olive trees months before the symptoms were visible. Building on those earlier results, this paper shows how similar results can be obtained with simpler multispectral cameras  provided they measure they measure the specific wavelengths that are most sensitive to the physiological changes happening in infected trees. These findings improve the cost efficiency of remote sensing to support Xylella fastidiosa infection monitoring, particularly over larger areas.
More information here.
Damage monitoring from above the sky

"Monitoring the incidence of Xylella fastidiosa infection in olive orchards using ground-based evaluations, airborne imaging spectroscopy and Sentinel-2 time series through 3-D radiative transfer modelling"

Researchers developed an approach to predict Xylella fastidiosa infection incidence in olive orchards. They combined airborne hyperspectral imagery and free and open Sentinel-2 satellite data with field observations and radiative transfer modeling (used for the retrieval of vegetation parameters). Using that approach, Sentinel-2 imagery can provide useful indicators to monitor the damage caused by Xylella fastidiosa infections across large areas.
More information here.
Filling the gaps in the epidemiology of a “slow” pathogen

"Estimating the epidemiology of emerging Xylella fastidiosa outbreaks in olives"

Since its first detection in 2013, Xylella fastidiosa expansion in Apulia has been fast. But the pathogen’s symptom expression on olive trees is slow, making it difficult to quantify some epidemiological data essential for risk assessment and management. Thanks to mathematical modeling and Bayesian analysis, the researchers estimate that each symptomatic tree could infect around 19 trees per year. The symptomless stage lasts 1.2 years on average, and the tree desiccation occurs approximately 4.3 years after the symptom appearance.
More information here.
Climate, space and the Xf distribution in Apulia and Alicante

"Spatial Bayesian Modeling Applied to the Surveys of Xylella fastidiosa in Alicante (Spain) and Apulia (Italy)"

Researchers studied the effects of climatic and spatial factors on the geographic distribution of Xylella fastidiosa in Apulia (Italy) and Alicante (Spain), to build risk maps to support authorities in implementing surveillance and control strategies. Findings demonstrate that the spatial factor largely defined the pathogen distribution, but not the climate. These results suggest that the current extent of Xylella fastidiosa in the study regions had arisen from a single outbreak or several nearby outbreaks coalesced. The study also indicated that climatic factors are not likely to prevent the colonization of the neighboring areas by Xylella fastidiosa. Therefore, control measures should be enforced to limit further disease spread.
More information here.
The XF-ACTORS Digital Research Object Portal (DROP), a first step towards the reduction of the fragmentation of knowledge

Opening research data and publishing open access articles have become a requirement for many publicly-funded research projects. The ultimate goal of opening data is to increase their visibility, use and re-use. There is evidence that studies that make their data available are shared more frequently, hence receive more citations than similar studies that do not (Piwowar and Vision, 2013)[1]; re-use of data has produced five times more scientific publications than the initial exploitation of the data by the research groups that have produced it (Gaillard, 2014)[2]. The number of infrastructures that host open research data has increased to adapt to different types of data and scientific journals are adapting to the open access policy. Although the multiplication of these structures has to be seen positively, the large number of diverse infrastructures has the counter-effect to scatter information which may be more difficult to reach. 
The online XF-ACTORS Digital Research Object Portal (DROP) was publicly released on 2018-12-12. Since, the Portal has been fed with the digital research objects from XF-ACTORS and other projects. Today, the Portal is a flexible infrastructure that allows to reference any type of data. Digital objects currently referenced includes:
  1. 59 datasets (e.g. genomic sequences, HTS data, transcriptomic data) 
  2. 3 sets of codes (i.e. modelling, analysis of remote sensing data) 
  3. 2 videos (webinars)
  4. 4 reports (e.g. proficiency tests, test performance studies) 
  5. 11 opinions (e.g. management, susceptibility, evaluation of risk). Since September 2018 a separate platform that focusses on pest risk analyses has been developed by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) on the model of DROP 
  6. 1 set of protocols prepared for a training in Diagnostics
  7. 6 Standards (diagnostics and inspection)
  1. 715 open access scientific articles
The traffic on the portal is considered good, considering how specialised the data is and the fact that the Portal has not been advertised extensively outside the XF-ACTORS consortium. Some statistics are presented below. In 2020, the website received 563 visits. The top 5 countries are: USA (266 visits), Italy (46 visits), Spain (43 visits), China (30 visits) and France (25 visits). The Portal will be maintained in the framework of the XF-ACTORS projects until 2021-04-30. Opportunities for the maintenance after the end of the project and its further development will be explored in 2021.  
More information here.
[1] Piwowar H.A. and Vision T.J. Data reuse and the open data citation advantage. PeerJ 1:e175 (2013).
[2] Gaillard R. De l’Open data à l’Open research data: quelle(s) politique(s) pour les données de recherche? ENSSIB (2014).
3rd European Conference on Xylella fastidiosa and XF-ACTORS final meeting
Building knowledge, protecting plant health
Online event: 26-30 April 2021

 The 3rd EFSA European Conference on Xylella fastidiosa and final meeting of the XF-ACTORS project will be held online between 26-30 April 2021. 

The meeting of XF-ACTORS, the EU Horizon 2020 research project devoted to this plant pathogenic bacterium, will precede the conference, which is organised by EFSA and XF-ACTORS with the active contribution of the major EU research initiatives tackling X. fastidiosa –  BIOVEXO, CURE-XF, ERC MultiX, EUPHRESCO, EUROXANTH, and Life Resilience.

The event will comprise the XF-ACTORS meeting, the European conference, and a stakeholder session. A parallel e-poster session will be held online. 

Registration will open in January 2021

More information here
Donato Boscia's work on Xylella Fastidiosa commended by John Maddox prize's Judges

Judges commended the work of Donato Boscia, head of the Bari unit of the CNR Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection (IPSP) in Italy, for continuing to identify and explain the Xylella fastidiosa outbreak decimating the olive industry in Italy despite facing lawsuits and a smear campaign that he started the outbreak.

More information here

All Books, Project Publications by XF-ACTORS and Other publications on Xylella fastidiosa are available at:

Download all the deliverables so far produced in the framework of the project XF-ACTORS. 
Webinars XF-Actors Project
Did you miss some of the webinars organized by XF-Actors or you want to watch one of them again?
Check out this page on our web site: we collected all our educational webinars in a single player.
For the latest information on: detections of Xylella in Europe, research outcomes, international and national meetings, policy changes and scientific information on Xylella fastidiosa please visit the website of XF-ACTORS
The project XF-ACTORS is a 4-year multi-actor project started in November 2016 and entirely dedicated to research on Xylella fastidiosa.

The consortium gathers 29 partners from all over the world, and integrates the expertise on different fields such as plant pathology, entomology, modelling, risk assessment and social sciences with the active involvement of farmers and nurserymen.
XF-ACTORS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N. 727987

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