Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Threat To Grapevines And Gardens Now Easier To Pinpoint

Date:
June 30, 2007
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
It used to be that tracking the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa--one of the most serious threats to the California wine industry--was as challenging as teasing out the fine, commingling aromas of a complex Bordeaux. Now, scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Beltsville, Md., have developed a method for quickly confirming whether an insect or plant harbors the destructive, disease-causing bacterium.

Glassy-winged sharpshooter--notorious carrier of the microbe that causes Pierce's disease of grapes.
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb

It used to be that tracking the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa—one of the most serious threats to the California wine industry—was as challenging as teasing out the fine, commingling aromas of a complex Bordeaux.

Now, scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Beltsville, Md., have developed a method for quickly confirming whether an insect or plant harbors the destructive, disease-causing bacterium.

X. fastidiosa is best known for causing Pierce's disease in grapes, having ravaged California vineyards throughout the 1990s. But this menacing microbe, transmitted by various piercing insects, also attacks almonds, peaches and plums, as well as landscape trees as economically important as elms, oaks and sycamores.

Qi Huang, a plant pathologist in the ARS Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit, a part of the U.S. National Arboretum operated by ARS in Washington, D.C., developed the new method for quickly finding out if an insect carries X. fastidiosa. She's reduced the sticky business of extracting and analyzing bacterial DNA from inside an insect to two simple steps, which can be completed in under a day.

Little is generally known about the particular X. fastidiosa strains impacting landscape trees and how they differ from strains plaguing vineyards and other crops. Especially vexing is not knowing whether the isolates responsible for causing Pierce's disease in grapes can affect landscape plants—and vice versa.

The new method should help fill in such gaps in knowledge about transmission of different isolates of the Xylella bacterium.

Huang's test relies on two parts: a commercially available DNA-extraction kit and a DNA-amplification protocol that uses primers—short pieces of DNA specific to the bacterium's genetic code—to serve as proof of its presence.

The new method is more powerful than the current Xylella-detecting standby, which uses technology known as ELISA, for "enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay." ELISA can't recognize low levels of the bacterium, which has likely left many potential Xylella-transmitting insects to go undetected.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Threat To Grapevines And Gardens Now Easier To Pinpoint." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070628062844.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2007, June 30). Threat To Grapevines And Gardens Now Easier To Pinpoint. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070628062844.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Threat To Grapevines And Gardens Now Easier To Pinpoint." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070628062844.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) New England farms are seeing a surge in younger farm hands as the 'buy local' food movement grows across the country. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins