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

Phylogenetic relationships of Xylella fastidiosa strains isolated from landscape ornamentals in southern California

  • Author(s): Cooksey, DA; Costa, HS; de la Cerda, KA; Hernandez-Martinez, R; Wong, FP;
  • Abstract: Xylella fastidiosa is an insect-borne, xylem-limited pathogenic bacterium that has been associated with a rise in incidence of diseased landscape ornamentals in southern California. The objective of this study was to genetically characterize strains isolated from ornamental hosts to understand their distribution and identity. Strains of X. fastidiosa isolated from ornamentals were characterized using a multiprimer polymerase chain reaction (PCR) system. random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR. and sequence analysis of the 16S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer region (ISR). Based on RAPD-PCR and 16S-23S rDNA ISR, strains isolated from daylily. jacaranda, and magnolia clustered with members of X. fastidiosa subsp. sandyi and caused oleander leaf scorch but not Pierce's disease symptoms in glasshouse assays on oleander and grape, respectively. This demonstrated both that our groupings based on genetic characterization were valid and that strains of X. fastidiosa subsp. sandyi are present in hosts other than oleander. Strains isolated from Spanish broom, cherry, and one strain isolated from western redbud clustered with X. fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa members. Strains isolated from purple-leafed plum, olive, peach, plum, sweetgum, maidenhair tree, crape myrtle, and another western redbud strain clustered with members of X. fastidiosa subsp. multiplex. All strains isolated from mulberry and one from heavenly bamboo formed a separate cluster that has not yet been defined as a subspecies.
  • Publication Date: Jul 2007
  • Journal: Phytopathology