The fireblight monitoring network in northern Italy: origin and development.
A national monitoring network for the early detection of primary foci following long-distance spread of Erwinia amylovora has been developed in Italy. The network is divided into 3 interregional networks (Northern, Adriatic and Tyrrhenian) and 2 island networks, in Sicily and Sardinia. The Northern network lies between the crest of the Alps and the Apennines, stretching down to the Conero promontory, and consists of 8 regions (Piemonte, Val d'Aosta, Liguria, Lombardia, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Marche and Friuli-Venezia Giulia) and 2 autonomous provinces (Trento and Bolzano). The network was completed in 1992 and consists of 3601 monitoring points, with 1 or more host plants susceptible to E. amylovora, at intervals of about 5 km. Inspections are performed twice a year (May-Jun. and Sep.-Oct.). The Northern network has 4 diagnostic centres which analyse the samples sent by the inspectors and identify the isolates. A description of the origin and development of this network is given.