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

Molecular profiling of proteolytic and lectin transcripts in Homalodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera : Auchenorrhyncha : Cicadellidae) feeding on sunflower and cowpea

  • Author(s): Brandt, SL; Coudron, TA; Hunter, WB;
  • Abstract: Homolodisca vitripennisGermar 1821 (Hem iptera:Cicadellidae) [Takiya et al. (2006) Ann Entomol Soc Am 99:648-655; syn. H. coagulata (Say)] salivary gland and gut EST libraries were used to isolate cDNA fragments of the gene transcripts encoding for cathelpsin L, asparoginyl endopepticlose, cothelpsin B, metalloendopeptidase, cathepsin D, multicatalytic endopeptidase, and a sugar-binding C-type lectin. Transcript levels were evaluated in immature and adult H. vitripennis feeding on sunflower (Helianthus annuus) or cowpea (Vigna unguiculata). Northern blot hybridization results showed that expression of most of the transcripts were similar for all developmental stages and feeding on the two diets examined. However, the expression of the transcript for asparaginyl endopeptidase was less expressed in sunflower-fed adult females compared to sunflower-fed immatures. Also, the expression of the C-type lectin transcript was up-regulated in adults compared to immatures when fed on either diet. Documenting both the presence and variation of transcript expression involved in putative digestive proteolysis in this xylem-feeding leafhopper is noteworthy and aids efforts to design specific diet formulations for mass production of hosts and parasitoids to be used as effective biological control measures.
  • Publication Date: Oct 2007
  • Journal: Archives Of Insect Biochemistry And Physiology