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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Cooperative efforts contained spread of Pierce's disease and found genetic resistance

  • Author(s): Bruening, George E
  • Kirkpatrick, Bruce C
  • Esser, Thomas
  • Webster, Robert K
  • et al.

An outbreak of Pierce's disease of grapevine in the Temecula Valley in the late 1990s was one in a decades-long series of sporadic appearances of this infection in California. However, the new outbreak was qualitatively different because of the rapidity with which it spread in the vineyard and its appearance almost simultaneously at distant locations. The causative agent of Pierce's disease is the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, and the distinct characteristics of the Temecula Valley outbreak were traced to the establishment of a new insect vector in California, the glassy-winged sharpshooter. Intensive and collaborative efforts among government agencies, industry and research institutions over 15 years have successfully contained the disease, and given scientists time to discover promising long-term potential solutions through genetic resistance.


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