About the Texas Pierce's Disease Research and Education Program

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Pierce's disease is the number one limiting factor to the production of high quality winegrapes in the state of Texas. History reveals that European immigrants commonly lost grapevines brought with them from their homelands and it is speculated that Pierce's disease was the most likely cause. The disease is caused by a specific strain of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. In its native range, the bacterium resides rather benignly in native plants where it may occasionally cause symptoms, but does not kill its hosts.  Among this group of tolerant plants we include most of our native grape species. While these vines and other host plants survive once infected, they serve as a source of the disease for introduced, susceptible species and varieties.

This site is the product of the Texas Pierce's Disease Research and Education Program. This program is funded through APHIS (Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service), a branch of the United States Department of Agriculture. This program is a cooperative effort among scientists from Texas AgriLife Research, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Tech University, The University of Houston-Downtown and the University of Texas at Tyler. This multidisciplinary and multi-university approach allows for collaborative efforts that seek to find solutions for commercial grape growers in all areas affected by Pierce's disease. Because Texas is the ancestral home of both the pathogen and many of the insect vectors, it is a natural laboratory and the potential key to solving this disease.

Within this site you will find resources for disease identification, insect identification, an overview of ongoing research and resources intended to help growers manage both risk and spread of the disease. Your feedback and suggestions are welcome.

Jim Kamas
Outreach Coordinator
Texas Pierce's Disease Research & Education Program.