Summary: The vector-borne bacterium Xylella fastidiosa is responsible for Pierce's disease (PD), a fatal grapevine disease that originated in the Americas. The international trade in plants is expanding the geographic range of this pathogen, which represents a new threat to viticulture worldwide, especially in Europe. To assess the potential incidence of PD, we have built a climate-driven dynamic epidemiological model based on the response of 36 grapevine varieties to the pathogen in inoculation trials and on the spatial distribution of vectors. The model has been applied to past, present and future climate projections, allowing to explain the origins of PD in Europe, highlight current risk areas with great precision and assess future risk.
Àlex Giménez has a degree in Physics from the University of Barcelona and a master in Physics of Complex Systems from the University of the Balearic Islands. As a PhD student at IFISC, he studies ecosystems threatened by emergent epidemics and climate change through the lens of Complex Systems science. He has publications in international journals on modelling mollusc and plant epidemics and AI applied to ecology.