20 minutes | Aug 5th 2020

89: New Pierce’s Disease Vaccine

Pierce’s Disease is caused by bacteria spread by xylem sucking insects. The bacteria move quickly throughout the vine causing disease which blocks the flow of liquid through the plant. Symptoms of leaf scorching – leaves that are curled and dried up on the edges - show up mid-summer. This pathogen is successful because plant does not recognize that it is there and does not mount a good defense. Steven Lindow, Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of California Berkley is a plant pathologist and microbial ecologist. He and his team are researching other bacteria that can grow in the grapevine that mysteriously sensitize them to the Pierce’s Disease pathogen. Once inoculated with the new bacteria the plant induces its innate immune system to combat Pierces Disease. This process works like a vaccine although the bacteria itself does not cause a direct action. Naturally found in onions, the bacteria can be applied in a spray with a surfactant. Current research indicates that this process will need to be repeated annually. As the EPA considers beneficial bacteria a pesticide, Lindow is pursuing the registration process so this technique can be used commercially. References: Biological Control of Pierce’s Disease of Grape by an Endophytic Bacterium Caroline Roper, Associate Professor of Plant Pathology & Plant Pathologist, University of California Riverside Cell-cell signaling controls Xylella fastidiosa interactions with both insects and plants Steven Lindow, Professor of Plant Pathology, University of California Berkley SIP Certified Use of a Green Fluorescent Strain for Analysis of Xylella fastidiosa Colonization of Vitis vinifera Get More Subscribe on Google Play, iHeartRADIO, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, or wherever you listen so you never miss an episode on the latest science and research with the Sustainable Winegrowing Podcast. Since 1994, Vineyard Team has been your resource for workshops and field demonstrations, research, and events dedicated to the stewardship of our natural resources. Learn more at www.vineyardteam.org.
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