Pierce’s Disease Researchers to Gather at Symposium


Sacramento, Calif., May 21, 2008 – The 2008 Pierce’s Disease (PD) Research Symposium, which brings together researchers from around the world, will again convene in San Diego this year on December 15, 16 and 17.

“This meeting provides an excellent opportunity for those doing research on Pierce’s disease to meet with their peers and discuss the research that is taking place on many different fronts,” said PD/GWSS Board Chairman Herb Schmidt.

To learn about advancements being made in disease and vector management, monitoring and biology, symposium attendees will listen to speakers, take part in breakout group sessions and discuss their work during poster sessions.

The annual symposium typically draws over 150 people and will be held at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter Hotel in San Diego. 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.

“Each year we see more and more progress being made against PD and the glassy-winged sharpshooter, and the symposium has played an important role in communicating that,” said Bob Wynn, head of CDFA’s Pierce’s Disease Control Program. “I encourage winegrape growers to attend not only so that they can see and hear about promising developments but also to have their voices heard and talk directly to those 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 http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/pdcp/.

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 California’s winegrape industry adds an estimated $51.8 billion to the state’s economy and $125 billion to the national economy.

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