Thidiazuron: New Trends and Future Perspectives to Fight Xylella fastidiosa in Olive Trees

Antibiotics (Basel). 2022 Jul 14;11(7):947. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics11070947.


These days, most of our attention has been focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have often neglected what is happening in the environment. For instance, the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa re-emerged as a plant pathogen of global importance in 2013 when it was first associated with an olive tree disease epidemic in Italy, called Olive Quick Decline Syndrome (OQDS), specifically caused by X. fastidiosa subspecies pauca ST53, which affects the Salento olive trees (Apulia, South-East Italy). This bacterium, transmitted by the insect Philaenus spumarius, is negatively reshaping the Salento landscape and has had a very high impact in the production of olives, leading to an increase of olive oil prices, thus new studies to curb this bacterium are urgently needed. Thidiazuron (TDZ), a diphenylurea (N-phenyl-1,2,3-thiadiazol-5-yl urea), has gained considerable attention in recent decades due to its efficient role in plant cell and tissue culture, being the most suitable growth regulator for rapid and effective plant production in vitro. Its biological activity against bacteria, fungi and biofilms has also been described, and the use of this low-cost compound to fight OQDS may be an intriguing idea.

Keywords: Apulia; Italy; Xylella fastidiosa; almonds; antimicrobials; bis-arylurea; cytokinin; diarylurea; lavender; olives; rosemary.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This work was supported by PRIN (Progetti di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale) Grant 2017M8R7N9_004 and 2020KSY3KL_005 from MUR, Italy (S.A.) and Italian Minister of University and Research (MUR, D.M. 1062 del 10.08.2021)-PON R&I 2014–2020 Azione IV.6 “Contratti di Ricerca su Tematiche Green” 1062_R13_GREEN (J.C.).