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

Exogenous Applications of Abscisic Acid Increase Curing of Pierce's Disease-Affected Grapevines Growing in Pots

  • Author(s): Kirkpatrick, BC; Meyer, MM;
  • Abstract: Foliar and drench applications of the plant growth regulator abscisic acid (ABA) were applied to 1-year-old potted Vitis vinifera 'Pinot Noir' and 'Cabernet Sauvignon' vines infected with Xylella fastidiosa, the bacterial pathogen that causes Pierce's disease (PD). A naturally occurring ABA and a synthetic ABA were applied, and both materials showed some effectiveness at increasing curing rates of PD-affected grapevines. Pinot Noir grapevines treated with the drench ABA treatments had significantly greater disease curing effects than the unsprayed control plants. It has been shown that plant phenolics have antimicrobial properties, and we found a positive correlation between effective ABA treatments and the total phenolic compound content of xylem sap extracted from Pinot Noir vines.
  • Publication Date: Feb 2011
  • Journal: Plant Disease