Start Date: May 21, 2010
End Date: Apr 20, 2011
Pierce's Disease, PD, is one of several economically important bacterial diseases caused by the pathogenic bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa, which is spread by the glassy-winged sharpshooter, and other leafhoppers. Piece's Disease is a limiting factor in the National grape production throughout the Southeastern U.S. and California. Xylella also causes other "Scorch" diseases in many other tree crops and ornamentals. One such example is citrus variegated chlorosis, CVC, which is devastating to citrus, but has not yet been reported within the borders of the U.S. If not contained, PD will severely impact both the domestic and international viticultural markets. Therefore, we are studying aspects of vector biology, genetics, pathology, and potential biological control agents. Other methods of plant protections are also being studied, which includes insecticides, novel chemistries, germplasm improvement using disease and insect resistance genes in grapes will also be incorporated to develop an effective IPM strategy to reduce the economic impacts of PD and its leafhoper vectors. Vector-pathogen interactions will be biologically characterized. Current and emerging agricultural problems associated with leafhopper vectors of Xylella and other plant diseases will be incorporated into the research program.