California’s most valuable crop is under threat. In the late 1800s an invasive aphid pest introduced from the United States, phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae), destroyed over two thirds of European vineyards. An existential threat on the scale of the phylloxera crisis has arrived to imperil the state’s 5.23 billion dollar wine grape industry1. The emergence of the glassy winged sharpshooter within the boundaries of the state’s prime grape growing region of Napa Valley has resulted in an extensive program of control and mitigation to prevent the spread of Xylella fastidiosa, the bacteria responsible for an incurable plant disease that left unchecked could spell the end of the state’s lucrative wine industry2.
- California Department of Food and Agriculture. CDFA – PDCP – Pierce’s Disease; [cited 2023 Jul 24]. Available from: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/pdcp/Pierce’s_Disease.html.
- Hopkins, D. L., & Purcell, A. H. (2002). Xylella fastidiosa: cause of Pierce’s disease of
grapevine and other emergent diseases. Plant disease, 86(10), 1056-1066.