Pierce's Disease
Research Updates


What is Pierce's Disease?

Pierce's Disease is a bacterial infection, which is spread by bugs that feed on grapevines, particularly the "glassy winged sharpshooter." Grapevines that become infected with PD can quickly become sick and die.

glassy-winged sharpshooter

Fate of a genetically modified bacterium in foregut of glassy-winged sharpshooter (Hemiptera : Cicadellidae)

  • Author(s): Miller, TA; Perring, TM; Ramirez, JL;
  • Abstract: Symbiotic control is a new strategy being investigated to prevent the spread of insect-transmitted pathogens by reducing vector competence. We are developing this strategy to reduce the spread of Xylella fastidiosa by Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar) [formerly Homalodisca coagulate (Say)] (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), the glassy-winged sharpshooter. In this study, the fate of a transformed symbiotic bacterium, Alcaligenes xylosoxidans variety denitrificans (S1Axd), in the foregut of glassy-winged sharpshooter when fed on citrus (Citrus spp.) and grape (Vitris spp.) was assessed. TaqMan-based quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect and quantify bacterial cells remaining in the foregut at 0, 2, 4, 9, and 12 d after acquisition. S1Axd titer dropped rapidly by 2 d after acquisition, but in spite of this, at end of the 12-d experimental period, 45 and 38% of the glassy-winged sharpshooters retained the transformed bacteria, when fed on grape and citrus, respectively.
  • Publication Date: Oct 2008
  • Journal: Journal Of Economic Entomology