Grape producers in the United States have been battling to manage the effects of the Pierce’s Disease-causing bacteria Xylella fastidiosa (Xylella) for many years.
Manager of the National Xylella Preparedness Program, Craig Elliott, recently returned from a visit through northern California where he met with growers, viticulturists, researchers and government staff working to manage the impact of Xylella.
“This trip provided a great insight into the impact that Pierce’s Disease has had on the wine sector in California as well as the progress that is being made to protect the sector into the future,” Craig said.
“What I saw though is the importance of understanding the bacteria and the vectors. UC Berkeley researchers have identified more than 360 Xylella genotype isolates and there is still more to learn about the evolution of Xylella and how it interacts with vectors and host plants.”
Craig said California’s experience shows there is extensive movement of vectors, and that a multi-pronged approach including area-wide management and hot-spot management were integral parts of their program.
The National Xylella Preparedness Program is led by Wine Australia and Hort Innovation under the Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative.
Vinehealth Australia, in partnership with Craig Elliott, is preparing an update on Australia’s preparedness for Xylella, which will appear in the November issue of Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker Magazine.