Olive is a strategic crop of huge importance for the temperate regions, not only grown for its economic relevance but also for preserving social, cultural and environmental values. It is threatened by numerous harmful organisms, including emerging, re-emerging and quarantine pathogens.


Key reasons to attend this course

Acquire sound knowledge on the biology, ecology and epidemiology of the main pathogens threatening olive, focusing on Xylella fastidiosa and Verticillium dahliae;
Understand the regulatory context and international standards under which the surveillance and monitoring of olive pathogens are performed;
Identify the relevant parameters for survey design and efficient monitoring with the particular focus on sampling procedures and diagnostics using Xylella fastidiosa and Verticillium dahliae as case studies.
Be able to prepare and design risk-based surveys and monitoring activities.
Network with professionals and key actors in IOC member countries, exchange experiences and strengthen cooperation to deal with emerging and re-emerging diseases in olive.


A. Adi, IOC, Madrid (Spain)
C. Bairrao Balula, IOC, Madrid (Spain)
A. Ferrer, Servicio de Sanidad Vegetal, Generalitat Valenciana, Valencia (Spain)
I. Graziosi, EFSA, Parma (Italy)
B. Landa, IAS-CSIC, Córdoba (Spain)
E. Lázaro, CPVB-IVIA, Valencia (Spain)
G. Loconsole, IPSP-CNR, Bari (Italy)
F.J. Lopez Escudero, Univ. Córdoba (Spain)
J.A. Navas, IAS-CSIC, Córdoba (Spain)
F. Nigro, Univ. Degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro (Italy)
J.E. Palomares, IAS-CSIC, Córdoba (Spain)
F. Petter, EPPO, Paris (France)
C. Picard, EPPO, Paris (France)
L. Rallo, Univ. Córdoba (Spain)
P. Di Rubbo, EC, Brussels (Belgium)
R. Sánchez, Servicio de Sanidad Vegetal, Junta de Andalucía, Sevilla (Spain)
F. Santoro, CIHEAM Bari (Italy)
M. Saponari, IPSP-CNR, Bari (Italy)
F. Valentini, CIHEAM Bari (Italy)
S. Vos, EFSA, Parma (Italy)

Live sessions and practical demonstrations and exercises

18 Leading international experts

Course in English, with interpretation into Spanish and French


  • 0. Welcome from organizing institutions and presentation of the programme
  • 1. Importance of keeping a healthy olive heritage
    • 1.1. Importance and challenges facing the olive sector and the role of the International Olive Council (IOC)
    • 1.2. Debate on the current situation and challenges for participants’ countries
    • 1.3. IOC olive germplasm collections: breeding programmes and certified plant material
    • 1.4. Need for olive pathogen risk-based surveillance and monitoring
  • 2. Main pathogens threatening olive
    • 2.1. Xylella fastidiosa
      • 2.1.1. Current situation in Europe: a quarantine priority pest
      • 2.1.2. Genetic diversity
      • 2.1.3. Biology, ecology and epidemiology
      • 2.1.4. Symptoms and latency: key points for detection
      • 2.1.5. Insect vectors
    • 2.2. Verticillium dahliae
      • 2.2.1. Current situation
      • 2.2.2. Genetic diversity
      • 2.2.3. Biology, ecology and epidemiology
      • 2.2.4. Symptoms and diagnosis: key points for detection
      • 2.2.5. Dispersal
    • 2.3. Biology, epidemiology and spread of other relevant diseases
      • 2.3.1. Fungal diseases
      • 2.3.2. Bacterial diseases
      • 2.3.3. Viruses/Phytoplasms
      • 2.3.4. Nematodes
  • 3. Phytosanitary regulations
    • 3.1. The EU 2016/2031 Plant Health Regulation
    • 3.2. Quarantine pests
      • 3.2.1. Implementing regulation EU 2019/2072
      • 3.2.2. New emergency measures for Xylella fastidiosa
    • 3.3. Surveillance and contingency plans
    • 3.4. Regulated Non-Quarantine Pests (RNQP) and olive certification schemes
      • 3.4.1. The case of plant production system in Spain, with a focus on RNQP
      • 3.4.2. Example of voluntary schemes: Voluntary System for Pest Prevention (VSPP) developed in the framework of the EU project XF-ACTORS
  • 4. Sampling procedures and diagnostic tools
    • 4.1. Plant and soil sampling (nursery and field scale). Symptomatic and asymptomatic samples
      • 4.1.1. General concepts
      • 4.1.2. The example of Xylella fastidiosa
      • 4.1.3. The example of Verticillium dahliae
    • 4.2. Advanced methods and strategies for innovative monitoring systems (remote sensing, proximal sensing, citizen science, others)
    • 4.3. EPPO and IPPC protocols for pest identification (biological, microbiological, molecular and serological)
    • 4.4. Practical demonstrations
      • 4.4.1. Sampling for Xylella fastidiosa and use of XylApp to trace sampling
      • 4.4.2. Detection and quantification of Verticillium dahliae in plant material and soil using microbiological methods
      • 4.4.3. Molecular methods for olive pathogen diagnosis
  • 5. Statistically and risk-based surveillance
    • 5.1. Tools for nursery inspections (ISPM31, EPPO)
    • 5.2. EFSA toolkit for surveys
      • 5.2.1. Survey preparation
      • 5.2.2. Delimiting surveys
      • 5.2.3. Statistical tool RiBESS+
    • 5.3. Practical exercises for survey design of Xylella fastidiosa
      • 5.3.1. Design of a detection survey
      • 5.3.2. Design of a delimiting survey
      • 5.3.3. Design of a buffer zone survey
      • 5.3.4. Confidence level of an implemented survey
    • 5.4. Discussion and conclusions
  • 6. Final discussion and closure
  • 7. Networking sessions with IOC

Train at an outstanding international institution


If you wish to participate in the course, apply online at the following address: www.admission.iamz.ciheam.org

The course is designed for 35* participants with a university degree and is aimed at competent authorities in plant health certification and inspection. The course will also be open to professionals from plant protection services and to technical advisors and experts from R&D institutions involved in disease diagnosis, prevention and management plans against pathogens in the olive sector.

*The number of admissions can be increased to attend lectures only and excludes the practical work on prospection design.

The 9-day course will be held online from 2 to 4, 9 to 11, and 14 to 16 December 2020, from 14:00 to 18:30 (Central European Time).

Application deadline: 2 November 2020

Registration fees for the course amount to 400 euro.
Candidates from IOC member countries (Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Egypt, European Union, Georgia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey and Uruguay), who wish to apply for scholarships covering registration fees must contact the IOC delegate in their country expressing their interest and providing their curriculum vitae and supporting certifications.
Candidates from other countries who require financial support should apply directly to other national or international institutions.

Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza

Av. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain



+34 976716000

How to get here