California Agricultural Research Priorities: Pierce’s Disease (August 2004)Report in Brief
The glassy-winged sharpshooter is one of the more recent invasive pests to afflict California agriculture. The insect transmits a bacterial pathogen that causes Pierce's disease, which has impaired production of wine, table, and raisin grapes in California. The report recommends strengthening the process and the priorities for research funded by state agencies and wine industry groups to address Pierce's disease and its vector. Research should be focused on identifying feasible options for controlling the spread of the disease and providing sustainable approaches that are adaptable and affordable over the long term. Several avenues of research be pursued more intensely including the genetic makeup of the pathogen that triggers Pierce's disease, understanding the mechanisms that make grapes resistant to the disease, the possibilities of introducing predator enemies to the sharpshooter, and new ways to manage the planting of crops to help avoid spread of the disease.