I Italien så har man sedan en tid problem med en bakterie som infekterar bland annat olivträd. Det pågår forskning kring denna bakterie och hur den ska bekämpas. Nu har forskare vid institut i Puglia blivit anklagade för att ha orsakat dessa angrepp (genom att ha tagit dit bakterierna för en kurs), och polisen har beslagtagit datorer och dokument.
Lite grann får man intrycket att det är lokala odlade och aktivister som inte gillar de restriktioner och åtgärder som har vidtagits, vilket också diskuteras i artikeln.
Skulle forskarna ha släppt loss dessa bakterier så torde det vara rätt lätt att bevisa genom sekvensering av genomet. De menar själva att det rör sig om olika stammar, och att anklagelserna är befängda. De menar att stammen som har hittas härstammar från Costa Rica.
http://www.nature.com/news/italian-scie ... hs-1.17651
Italian scientists vilified in wake of olive-tree deaths
Police investigate researchers' role in devastating bacterial epidemic.
They did not expect to be hailed as heroes, say the scientists tasked with researching a deadly pathogen that is ravaging olive groves in Puglia, southern Italy. But they certainly did not predict that they would end up feeling like villains.
In the past year, plant scientists at various institutes in Bari, the capital of the Puglia region, have seen their work and their motivations criticized by local campaigners. Most recently, they have been subject to a police investigation about whether they are responsible for the introduction of the bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa, into Puglia, or for allowing its subsequent spread.
Police have called in several researchers involved in Xylella research for questioning and confiscated computers and documents from scientific institutes.
We’d just like to be left to do our work without this suspicion and this stress,” says Donato Boscia, head of the Bari unit of the CNR Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection (IPSP), whom police questioned in April.
“The scientists in Puglia working on the Xylella outbreak have been working non-stop for two years,” adds Rodrigo Almeida, a Xylella expert at the University of California, Berkeley. “Their reward has been to get attacked constantly — I just can’t imagine how this would feel.”
Xylella is endemic in parts of the Americas, including Costa Rica, Brazil and California, but was not previously found in Europe. That changed in October 2013, when scientists at the IPSP and the University of Bari identified1 the bacterium as the cause of an unusual disease outbreak in olive trees. The outbreak immediately became subject to European Union (EU) regulations to limit its spread, and regional scientists began a systematic effort to understand the disease and contain it: the scientists went on to show that the bacterium was being carried by the spittlebug insect2.
From the start, farmers and environmentalists in Italy objected to containment measures, which involved uprooting trees and spraying the groves with pesticides. But trouble for the Puglian scientists began in April 2014, when individuals told police that they suspected that the epidemic was caused by bacteria that scientists had brought in from California for a European training course on Xylella at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (IAMB) in 2010.
Scientists say that this suggestion is ludicrous because the Puglia strain is different from the strains used at the workshop; the widely accepted theory is that the infection was imported with ornamental plants from Costa Rica, where the endemic Xylella strain matches the Puglia strain.