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

Differential reproductive maturity between geographically separated populations of Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar) in California

  • Author(s): Krugner, R;
  • Abstract: The glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar), is native to the southeastern United States and northeastern Mexico. It was detected in southern California in the late 1980s and in the San Joaquin Valley in 1999, where it transmits the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa to grapevines and other crops. The reproductive success of hybrid and pure line H. vitripennis from two geographically separated populations in California (Riverside (RIV) and Bakersfield (BAK)) was evaluated under identical conditions. The RIV and BAK populations had different preoviposition periods that persisted through the second generation of each lineage. From adult molt, the preoviposition period in both female generations was significantly shorter for RIV (F(0) = 28.2 days and F(1) = 62.3 days) than BAK females (F(0) = 46.1 days and F(1) = 170.4 days). After a 21-day mating period, F(0) and F(1) females deposited on average 391 (range, 21 967) and 196 (range, 0-755) eggs, respectively, without significant differences in fecundity among the F(0) and F(1) mating pair treatments. Egg accumulation rates among F(1) treatments showed that females in the RIV groups rapidly deposited their eggs within the first 120 days after adult molt while BAK females maintained a steady accumulation rate during their life. The performance of both hybrid lines was intermediate between the pure lineages. The F(0) mating pairs: female RIV x male RIV, female RIV x male BAK, female BAK x male RIV, and female BAK x male BAK produced on average 185, 94, 79, and 0 viable eggs, respectively, which suggested a delayed sexual maturity of BAK males and females. The proportion of viable eggs deposited decreased gradually, which suggests that females completely exhausted sperm reserves. From a management perspective, delayed reproductive maturity and polyandry are weak links in H. vitripennis' biology that may be exploited through mating disruption or insect sterilization strategies to reduce population growth and augment pressure by natural enemies. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Publication Date: Dec 2010
  • Journal: Crop Protection