Pierce’s disease in Texas: Analysis of pathogen presence, symbiont composition, and genetic variability in insect vector populations
Blake Bextine, email@example.com, F. Mitchell, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Isabelle Lauziere, email@example.com. (1) University of Texas - Tyler, Department of Biology, 3900 University Blvd, Tyler, TX, (2) Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, 1229 N. Hwy 281, Stephenville, TX
Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) is the single greatest limiting factor that influences the production of grapes in the southwestern US. This bacterium causes xylem vessel occlusion that leads to grapevine death in 5-7 years after the initial infection. Xf is transmitted by multiple insect vectors which are responsible for the dispersal of the bacterium within and between all grape growing regions of the US. Impacting vector populations and limiting pathogen transmission are the most feasible tactics for managing PD in the southwestern region. In this study, we have identified 6 vineyards for special focus in different regions of Texas. We have analyzed multiple species of insect vectors from these locations for the presence, concentration, and strain of Xf which are present, as well as genetic variation in vector populations, and other life history characteristics. This information has been interpreted relative to time of year and compared between vineyards to enhance our epidemiological understanding of the PD system.
Species 1: Hemiptera cicidelidae Homalodiscavitripennis (glassy-winged sharpshooter)