Wed, Jan 22, 2014 - Page 10 News List

Centuries-old Italian olive trees die as scientists track killer
數世紀之久的義大利橄欖樹死亡 科學家追緝兇手

A man gathers freshly-harvested olives under olive trees near the village of Castagniers, north of Nice, France on Dec. 5 last year.

Photo: Reuters

A plant germ found in Europe for the first time is killing off centuries-old olive trees in southern Italy’s Apulia region, and researchers have not yet figured out how far the pathogen has spread.

Scientists found Xylella fastidiosa, a bacterium native to the Americas, in plants across Lecce province in Apulia’s south, said Anna Maria D’Onghia, head of integrated pest management at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari.

The institute is testing plants without signs of infection to determine a protective buffer zone. The germ may have been introduced via the import of ornamental plants, according to D’Onghia.

“We are researching how far the pathogen has moved from this area. Usually when you see the diseased trees it’s too late,” D’Onghia said.

Italy’s agriculture ministry said it was setting up a task force to determine the boundaries of the infected areas and develop a plan to prevent further spread.

(The Liberty Times)








1. figure out v. phr.

明白;計算 (ming2 bai2; ji4 suan4)

例: I can’t figure out why he quit his job.


2. integrate v.

整合 (zheng3 he2)

例: We must integrate theory with practice.


3. task force n. phr.

專案小組;特遣部隊 (zhuan1 an4 xiao2 zu3; te4 qian3 bu4 dui4)

例: Off Somalia’s coast, a NATO-led task force is trying to crack down on Somali pirates.


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