Click below to view videos about research funded
by the PD/GWSS Board and what winegrape growers
have to say about the threat and the assessment.


New Research Suggests a ‘Vaccine’ for Pierce’s Disease on the Horizon

Among the solutions being looked at for Pierce’s disease (PD) is a “vaccine” approach protecting grapevines from Xylella fastidiosa (Xf), the pathogen that causes the disease. Research led by Dr. Steven Lindow has identified Paraburkholderia phytofirmans as a bacterium that can colonize a grapevine and trigger the equivalent of an immune response, protecting the grapevine from both P. phytofirmans and Xf. To learn more, watch the video above and read about the project in the PD/GWSS Board newsletter.

Pierce’s Disease Research:
Update on Stacking PD Resistance Traits in Winegrapes

Dr. Gilchrist reports on the field evaluation of rootstocks modified with two genes to provide winegrapes with resistance to Pierce’s disease (PD). This dual “stacking” approach is expected to provide longer-lasting overall resistance to PD, since it provides two lines of protection from PD.

Pierce’s Disease Research:
Update on Development of PD Resistance in Winegrapes

From his research vineyard at UC Davis, Dr. Andy Walker reports on his progress on breeding Pierce’s disease resistant winegrape vines and when growers might expect to have access to them from nurseries.

Stopping the Spread of GWSS: Proper Training is Key to Success for Nursery Stock Approved Treatment Program (ATP)


See how nursery employees are trained and the oversights that are in place to ensure that nursery stock can be transported from glassy-winged sharpshooter-infested areas to non-infested areas without transporting the pest in the process.

Biological Control of Pierce’s Disease Using a Benign Strain of Xylella fastidiosa

Dr. Don Hopkins of the University of Florida discusses his research with a benign strain of Xylella fastidiosa and how it may be used to protect grapevines from Pierce’s disease.

Researching the Increase of Pierce’s Disease
in California’s North Coast Vineyards

Responding to concerns from winegrape growers on the North Coast, the PD/GWSS Board commissioned University of California researchers and farm advisors to investigate the increases in Pierce’s disease (PD) in the region.

Discovering a Protein That Could Change the Way We Fight Pierce’s Disease

UC Davis plant scientists have identified an enzyme that appears to play a key role in the insect-transmitted Pierce’s disease (PD). This video takes you into the lab to show you how the discovery was made and how this may lead to new diagnostics and potential treatments for PD.

GWSS and the Sounds They Make

Researchers have discovered that glassy-winged sharpshooters use sounds to communicate. Now researchers are looking at ways those sounds can be used to control the pest.

Modified Rootstocks Could Help Prevent PD in Grapes

Five different genes, each showing evidence that they can stop Xylella fastidiosa, the bacterium that causes Pierce’s disease and kills vines, are being added to root stocks. Dr. David Gilchrist from UC Davis explains how they work.

Fresno Tackles Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Infestation

See how Fresno County Department of Agriculture fights the glassy-winged sharpshooter infestation in the greater Fresno area.

Knowing Your Enemy – Learning How GWSS Transfer PD To Grapevines

Dr. Elaine Backus, an entomologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Science Center in Parlier, is learning how glassy-winged sharpshooters transfers Pierce’s disease causing bacteria to grapevines in hopes of learning an important piece of information for developing a defense against the disease.

Breeding Tiny Parasitic Wasps To Fight Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter

Breeding tiny parasitic wasps for release to control the spread of the glassy-winged sharpshooter, a carrier of Pierce’s disease which is deadly to grape vines.

Pierce’s Disease Field Trials:
Testing of Signal Peptides and Anti-Microbial Proteins for Clearance of Xf

Dr. Abhaya M. Dandakar, from UC Davis, discusses his research into developing Pierce’s disease resistant grape root stock that produce their own proteins to inhibit the spread of Pierce’s disease within a vine once infected. His method is currently undergoing field trials.

Pierce’s Disease Field Trials:
Using Traditional Methods to Breed PD Resistant Grape Vines

Dr. Andy Walker, at UC Davis, talks about traditional plant breeding of Pierce’s disease resistant winegrape vines.

Pierce’s Disease Field Trials:
Exploiting Pathogen Signal Molecules for Control of PD

Dr. Steven Lindow, UC Berkeley, talks about his ongoing field trials to create winegrape vines that are resistant to Pierce’s Disease, which is deadly to grape vines and is spread by both the glassy-winged and blue-green sharpshooters.

Addressing the Threat: Creating the PD/GWSS Board

Dana Merrill, a winegrape grower from Paso Robles, talks about creating the PD/GWSS Board and how it has helped to save Californian’s winegrape industry.

Addressing the Threat: the Devastation in Temecula

Ben Drake, a winegrape grower from Temecula, talks about how the area was devastated by the combination of Pierce’s disease and the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter in 1999 to 2000.

Big Return on Investment for Winegrape Growers

Dana Merrill, a winegrape grower from Paso Robles, talks about how the PD/GWSS Board gives winegrape growers a voice into how their assessment moneys is spent on research.

The Danger of Complacency

Marc Cuneo, a winegrape grower from Sonoma, warns that his biggest fear in the battle against PD/GWSS is complacency among his fellow winegrape growers.

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