Microbiological strategies to combat Xylella fastidiosa

According to Olimerca, the University of Alicante is working on a possible cure against Xylella fastidiosa, through an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition of the Generalitat Valenciana.

Under the title «Research and implementation of microbiological strategies to combat the growth of Xylella fastidiosa in the Valencian Community» (Spain), this agreement will be developed over the next four years and three experts from the University of Alicante participate as main researchers: Francis Mojica, microbiologist and discoverer of the CRISPR genetic repair system; Jesús García, also a microbiologist; and Cesar Bordehore, biologist and expert in dynamic systems modeling and coordinator of the Montgó-Dénia Scientific Station (ESCIMO-Dénia).

The project, which is developed both in the laboratories of the UA campus and in the Montgó Scientific Station in Dénia, aims to address a possible solution to this plant disease from the use of natural proteins encoded in the Xylella fastidiosa genome itself.

“Although it is in an initial phase, at least at the laboratory level, active molecules (called endolysins) have been identified that could be candidates for a future vaccine-like preventive action (although it really is not) or curative action similar to the effect of an antibiotic for fight against this plague that plagues several countries and different plant species ”, explains Cesar Bordehore.