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

Distribution of Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter and Threecornered Alfalfa Hopper on Plant Hosts in the San Joaquin Valley, California

  • Author(s): Daane, KM; Hashim-Buckey, JM; Pryor, MP; Sisterson, MS; Wistrom, C;
  • Abstract: Homalodisca vitripennis (Cermar) and Spissistilus festinus (Say) populations were surveyed bimonthly for 14 mo in Kern County, CA, at five agricultural sites made up of a variety of potential host plants. In addition, S. festinus populations were surveyed in four alfalfa, Medicago saliva L., fields in Kern and Tulare counties. Insects were collected by beats-sweeps and sticky traps. Data on host plant condition and phenology, and ground cover presence and composition were collected at the five agricultural sites, whereas data on mowing and insecticide use were collected at the four alfalfa sites. Populations of both insects persisted at the five agricultural locations despite insecticide applications applied as part of a H. vitripennis areawide management program and standard commercial operations. Plants colonized by H. vitripennis included eucalyptus (Eucalyptus L'Her.), jojoba [Simmondsia chinensis (Link) C. K. Schneid.], and citrus (Citrus spp.). Populations of S. festinus were much greater in collections from alfalfa fields than from the five agricultural sites. Insects collected from the five mixed agricultural sites were negative for presence of X. fastidiosa. In laboratory tests, S. festinus did not acquire or transmit X. fastidiosa in tests with infected grape (Vitis spp.) as an acquisition source and grape, almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A.Webb], and alfalfa as inoculation hosts. Recommendations for vector control, vegetation management, and targeted monitoring to reduce insect populations and inoculum potential are discussed.
  • Publication Date: Aug 2010
  • Journal: Journal Of Economic Entomology