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

Prevalence and natural host range of Homalodisca coagulata virus-1 (HoCV-1)

  • Author(s): Cave, RD; Crosslin, JM; Hunnicutt, LE; Hunter, WB; Mozoruk, J; Powell, CA;
  • Abstract: Transmission electron microscopy was used to confirm the presence of picorna-like virus particles presumed to be Homalodisca coagulata virus-1 (HoCV-1) in the midgut region of adult glassy-winged sharpshooters (GWSS). In addition, we offer a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay for the detection of this virus with a sensitivity of similar to 95 genome equivalents. A survey employing this assay in conjunction with GWSS samples collected throughout the United States including California, Hawaii, Florida Georgia, and the Carolinas revealed a fairly widespread pattern of distribution, although potentially restricted to temperate regions, areas with elevated host densities, or to populations of a common origin. The virus was found to naturally infect adults regardless of host plant and was not specific to a particular lifestage or sex. Examination of alternate leafhopper species further demonstrated that, although infection is not ubiquitous to all sharpshooter genera, HoCV-1 is not limited to Homalodisca vitripennis (=H. coagulata).
  • Publication Date: Jan 2008
  • Journal: Archives Of Virology