Biosecurity and Xylella: Training at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Thursday 11th July 2019, 10.00-16.00

FREE but booking required (see link to booking form below)

Forest Research, the RHS and The University of Sussex are working together on a project called BRIGIT. This project aims to enhance surveillance and response preparedness for Xylella fastidiosa, a dangerous plant bacterium threatening hundreds of species of plants in the UK.

We are offering free training to individuals keen to protect the environment and UK horticulture from this potentially devastating plant pathogen. Training will be provided in four key areas: general biosecurity, and identification of Xylella hosts, symptoms of infection and insect vectors.

Xylella causes disease in plants by colonising the xylem (water transport vessels) and blocking the uptake of water. Common symptoms include leaf scorch, wilting, stunting, dieback which often leads to plant death. On this course we will cover the symptoms to look for on high risk trees and ornamental plants.

Insect vector identification will focus on froghoppers (spittlebugs) and the leafhoppers which feed on xylem fluid, transmitting the bacterium between plants. Participants will be given detailed knowledge on how to distinguish these insects in the wild, so that they can use their knowledge to partake in a citizen science survey on iRecord. This survey will map insect vector and host distribution providing us with information on how Xylella might enter and spread in the UK.

It is vital we act now to improve knowledge on biosecurity to prevent outbreaks but also understand how to mitigate damage should the bacterium arrive in the UK.

The training day will be hosted by The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on 11th July (10:00 – 16:00). Participants will spend the morning listening to talks from plant pathologists and entomologists followed by an afternoon practical session, outside in the garden, looking for Xylella hosts and vectors.

Cost: No charge. Refreshments will be provided but not lunch.

Bookings can be made using the link below. Please note that bookings close on 4th July 2019.

Book your free place here.

Please note that PlantNetwork provides a booking service only for the event – please direct all questions to Sarah Plummer at the RHS.