PD/GWSS Board Announces Request for Research Proposals


Sacramento, Calif., November 24, 2008 – The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Pierce’s Disease and Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Board, in partnership with the University of California (UC) Pierce’s Disease Grant Program, is accepting proposals for research projects on Pierce’s disease and its vectors.

“With this call for proposals, we are continuing the search for solutions to PD and GWSS,” said PD/GWSS Board Chairman Herb Schmidt. “Our past research efforts have provided new information that will help manage the PD/GWSS threat, and it’s important that we continue to seek effective means of battling PD in the vineyard.”

The PD/GWSS Board is seeking proposals in two fields of research: biological and economic. Biological research proposals that are relevant to California conditions and will contribute to finding solutions to PD are being sought. Economic research proposals are being sought that will contribute to an understanding of the economic impact of PD/GWSS on agriculture.

Proposals are due by Friday, January 16, 2009. Research contracts will be awarded for one to three years, beginning with fiscal year 2009-10.  The complete RFP is available to download at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/pdcp/Research.html. Researchers seeking more information on the RFP can contact the Pierce’s Disease Control Program at 916-651-0253.

As part of the ongoing research efforts, the CDFA’s Pierce’s Disease Control Program organizes an annual PD Research Symposium. The proceedings from previous symposia are available online at www.cdfa.ca.gov/pdcp.

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The PD/GWSS Board was established in July 2001 to support scientific research to find a cure for Pierce’s disease. An annual assessment paid by winegrape growers supports its research efforts.  The PD/GWSS Board also advises the California Department of Food and Agriculture on a variety of other issues pertaining to Pierce’s disease and the glassy-winged sharpshooter.

The work of the Board is underlined by the fact that Pierce’s disease has no known cure and, left unchecked, could be devastating to the grape industry and several other California crops. A study released in 2006 by the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers showed that the total annual economic impact of California’s winegrape industry is estimated at $51.8 billion.

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