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Pierce Disease

The dangerous vine disease was first detected in 1880 in Southern California, then destroyed in five years, 20,000 hectares of vineyards. It is also referred to as California Vine Disease, Mysterious Disease or Anaham Disease (because it is distributed to Anaham in California). At this time, the plant pathologist Newton B. Pierce (1856-1916) moved to California. She was named after him for his services to her exploration. In the period 1933-1940, the strongest spread was in California Central Valley from where they spread all over the south of the United States. Mexico and Central America.

In the United States of America, the entire southern belt of California in the west about Texas to Florida affected on the east coast. At the end of the 1990s, this disease increased again. US Vice President Al Gore approved emergency aid of $ 36 million at the end of 2000 and declared state of emergency for California. In Europe, the disease is not yet. Probably prevents the cooler climate a spread to the north. If it once through the climate Change However, as far as should come (which is almost certainly to be assumed), mainly Mediterranean areas are threatened.

The disease is caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa triggered, but this was only recognized in 1978 (previously had virus supposed). The bacterium makes the vines' ability to transport their water completely stunted over a period of one to three years, leading to complete drying up. Carriers are different to the family of cicadas counting grasshopper (leafhopper). The most dangerous species is Homalodisca vitripennis (formerly H. coagulata), known under the trivial name "Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter" (GWSS). This species can fly very far compared to their peers and thus infect many more plants. The first signs are usually a slight drying and "burning" of leaf margins.

Pierce Disease - Leaf Symptoms and Glassy Winged Sharpshooter (Cicada)

It arises necrotic Leaf margin with a chlorotic, yellowish band in white wine or a reddish in red wines. With the first symptoms, the fruits also dry up. The still small grape berries fall off, so that only the grape skeleton gets stuck. Most infected vines die within a year, with only a few expelling the following year. In general, young plants are more susceptible. The effects are strongly dependent on weather and species. The warmer the region, the stronger the character.

Particularly vulnerable are the species Vitis vinifera. Vitis labrusca and Vitis riparia, Of the European varieties are particularly vulnerable Barbera. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, As mediocre apply Cabernet Sauvignon. Gray Riesling. Merlot. Napa Gamay. Petite Sirah. Ruby Cabernet. Sauvignon Blanc and Thompson Seedless, Resistant species of the species Vitis aestivalis. Vitis berlandieri. Vitis candicans and Vitis rupestris, This concerns, inter alia Blanc Du Bois. Cham panel. Favorite. Orlando Seedless and Roucaneuf, The University of California had already published a report in 1985 in which she warned against it, but it was still forced Chardonnay.

Pierce Disease has a European relative, namely Flavescence dorée which is also transmitted by grasshoppers and causes similar damage in southern France, Italy and Spain. So far, no effective remedy for both diseases has been found. Researchers at the University of California succeeded in 2002, with the help of a simple virus to introduce a gene of the silkworm into the genome of vines. This altered gene produces the protein "Cecropin", which kills the pathogen. At best, one wants to find a gene variant that produces the special protein in the vine, but not in the grapes. See also a listing of all pests and diseases below Vine enemies,

Picture left: © enbiotech srl
Picture right: By Reyes Garcia III, Link

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