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- Author or Editor: Jim Kamas x
Since 1977, it was believed the grape strain of Xylella fastidiosa, Pierce's Disease (PD), was limited to sites receiving less than 800 hours of winter chilling below 45 °F. Warm winters since 1992–93 resulted in numerous PD-positive vineyards in central Texas which were previously nonaffected. Vine mortality ranges from minimal to over 80% dead vines. A Davis Mountains site receiving over 1,000 hours was also severely infected in 1996. The last severe winter in Texas was 1989–90; therefore, warm winters could be contributing. This climatic change could have affected vines, vectors, bacteria, and/or hosts. Recent work based on a study of 20 PD samples, 11 from Texas and 9 from other states, including California and Florida, indicates that the samples of PD grape strain of Xylella fastidiosa are clonally related. ELISA tests failed to identify PD from 1994–96; therefore, a sensitive REP-PCR test is needed before vine, bacteria, vector, and host management strategies can be developed.