Pierce’s Disease Research Symposium Brings Together Research Community


Sacramento, Calif., May 31, 2007– For the seventh year, researchers from around the world will convene in San Diego to attend the annual Pierce’s Disease (PD) Research Symposium to present and discuss their joint research efforts in finding a solution to PD.

“I’ve been attending the Symposium for several years now, and it is terrific to see the progress that is being made in the fight against PD,” said winegrape grower and PD/GWSS Board Chairman Ben Drake.

During the Symposium, attendees have the opportunity to meet with fellow researchers, as well as learn about advancements being made in disease and vector management, monitoring and biology.

The two-day Pierce’s Disease Research Symposium typically draws over 150 people.  It is organized by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Pierce’s Disease Control Program and partially supported by the PD/GWSS Board. It is held annually to facilitate the flow of information, accelerate progress and increase scientific collaboration.  This year’s Symposium will be held December 12-14, 2007.

“A great deal of progress has been made against PD and the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter in the last seven years,” said Bob Wynn, head of CDFA’s Pierce’s Disease Control Program.  “And this annual gathering of researchers has played an important role in fostering the communication and collaboration amongst researchers necessary to find that final solution.  I would encourage winegrape growers to attend not only so that they can see and hear about promising developments over the previous 12 months and what the future might bring, but also to have their voices heard among the researchers whose work could have a tremendous impact on them.”

Copies of research progress reports from previous years can be downloaded from the CDFA Web site at www.cdfa.ca.gov/gwss/.

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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, if left unchecked, could be devastating to the grape industry and several other California crops. A study released in December 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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