First report of Xylella fastidiosa in Lebanon

In 2015, a paper suggesting the presence of Xylella fastidiosa (EPPO A2 List) in Lebanon was published. However, later studies confirmed that the ELISA-positive samples initially obtained were false-positive (EPPO RS 2016/037). Inspections carried out in Lebanon in late summer 2020, identified almond (Prunus dulcis) trees with symptoms such as leaf scorch, resembling those caused by X. fastidiosa, in some orchards in Bint Jbeil district (Nabatiyeh governorate). Leaves sampled from 3 symptomatic trees tested positive for X. fastidiosa (ELISA, conventional PCR, quantitative PCR, real-time LAMP). Sequencing identified the subspecies fastidiosa. Infected almond trees were located in the southern part of Lebanon, a few kilometres from the Hula Valley in Israel, where X. fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa had been reported in 2017 (EPPO RS 2019/121). Further surveys will be conducted to delimit the infested area.

The situation of X. fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa in Lebanon can be described as: Present, not widely distributed.

Choueiri E, Abou Kubaa R, Valentini F, Yaseen T, El Sakka H, Gerges S, La Notte F, Saponari M, Elbeaino T, El Moujabber M (2023) First report of Xylella fastidiosa on almond (Prunus dulcis) in Lebanon. Journal of Plant Pathology (early view).


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