Monday, 27 May 2019

Spit it Out!


There is a somewhat confusing account of the dangers raised by the frothy protective product of the nymphs of froghoppers and other insects (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/26/scientists-call-for-volunteers-to-help-pre-empt-deadly-plant-disease). The 'spit' is not an infective agent but is could culture the dangerous bacterium Xylella fastidiosa (and it clearly indicates that the plant's outer defences have been breached by the sap-sucking bug). The bacterium does not yet appear to have made its way to the UK but it has been shown to decimate more than 500 species of host plant. It would not be helpful for people to assume that every plant with 'cuckoo spit' is infected!

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