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

Twitching motility among pathogenic Xylella fastidiosa isolates and the influence of bovine serum albumin on twitching-dependent colony fringe morphology

  • Author(s): Burr, TJ; Galvani, CD; Hoch, HC; Li, YX;
  • Abstract: Fourteen Xylella fastidiosa isolates from grapevines exhibiting Pierce's disease symptoms in California, Texas, and South Carolina were examined for type IV pilus-mediated twitching motility, a phenotype previously observed in a Temecula isolate from California. All isolates except one from South Carolina (SC 19A97) exhibited colonies with a peripheral fringe on PW agar, a feature indicative of twitching motility; however, when individual cells of SC 19A97 were examined at higher magnifications twitching motility was observed. The presence and width of colony peripheral fringes were related to the amount of bovine serum albumin (BSA) present in the medium; no or low levels of BSA (0-1.8 g L-1) permitted development of the widest fringe, whereas higher levels (3.5-6.0 g L-1) severely limited, and in many instances prevented, peripheral fringe development. The growth rate of the wild-type Temecula isolate in PW broth with different concentrations of BSA was similar for all tested concentrations of BSA; however, growth was significantly reduced in medium without BSA.
  • Publication Date: Mar 2007
  • Journal: Fems Microbiology Letters