Aphrophoridae Role in Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca ST53 – Invasion in Southern Italy

The Philaenus spumarius L. (Hemiptera Aphrophoridae) is a xylem-sap feeder vector that acquires Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca ST53 during feeding on infected plants. The bacterium is the plant pathogen responsible for olive quick decline syndrome that has decimated olive trees in Southern Italy.

Damage originates mainly from the insect vector attitude that multiplies the pathogen potentialities propagating Xf in time and space. The principal action to manage insect-borne pathogens and to contain the disease spread consists in vector and transmission control.

The analysis of an innovative and sustainable integrated pest management quantitative strategy that targets the vector and the infection by combining chemical and physical control means demonstrates that it is possible to stop the Xylella invasion.

This review updates the available topics addressing vectors’ identification, bionomics, infection management, and induced disease by Xylella invasion to discuss major available tools to mitigate the damage consequent to the disease.