BIOVEXO, a BBI-JU-H2020 project on biocontrol of Xylella and its vector in olive trees for integrated pest management

Research output: Chapter in Book or Conference ProceedingsConference Proceedings with Poster Presentation


Xylella fastidiosa is increasingly causing diseases in olive trees and various other crops in the Mediterranean region. It has wiped out a number of olive and almond groves in Italy and Spain in only a few years. Unfortunately, the climate of the southern European Union is ideal for Xylella. Due to its rapid transmission across cultivation areas, Xylella fastidiosa is projected to cause yield losses of 35% - 70% in olive harvests and 13% in almond harvests. Currently, there are no products available on the market that have been proven to be effective against Xylella fastidiosa, which is spread by xylem-feeding insects – notably the spittlebug Philaenus spumarius. Several chemical insecticides are authorized to control xylem-feeding insects; while for products allowed in organic farming, only temporary authorizations, for limited periods, have been obtained. In the BBI JU-H2020 project BIOVEXO, 11 partners from 5 different countries and belonging to industries, SMEs, RTOs, and universities aim to develop environmentally sustainable and economically viable plant protection solutions that can be deployed as a method of integrated pest management to control Xylella fastidiosa and its spittlebug vector. After 2.5 years of BIOVEXO, both V-biopesticides and X-biopesticides have been upscaled and formulated and are currently being applied via endotherapy, foliar spray, or by drip irrigation on large scale field trials (olive and almond trees) as preventive and curative approaches, and also in integrated management, in Italy (Apulia) and Spain (Alicante and Mallorca). The biopesticides’ mechanisms of actions are also being investigated and this investigation considers plant transcriptome approaches, plant and insect microbiomes, as well as colonization and persistence of the biopesticides in the insect/plant-environment. Toxicity and life cycles of each biopesticide are also being assessed. At the end of BIOVEXO, the two best performing solutions will be brought closer to the market (Technical Readiness Level 7-8). In the conference, we will present an overview of the BIOVEXO project, as well as the project’s objectives and research plan.
For more information about the BIOVEXO project:
This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No. 887281. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2023

Research Field

  • Exploration of Biological Resources

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