Transmission of Xylella fastidiosa, causal agent of citrus variegated chlorosis, by the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca coagulata

Text - scientific article/review article


Citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC) is an economically important disease of citrus in Brazil and Argentina. The causal pathogen is a strain of Xylella fastidiosa transmitted by several sharpshooter species. The glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS), Homalodisca coagulata, has become an important new pest of citrus and grapevines in California, where it transmits X. fastidiosa strains to several crops including grapes, oleander, and almonds. Transmission studies over a 3-year period at the USDA BSL3-P containment facility at Fort Detrick. MD, utilizing California field-collected GWSS, a Brazilian strain of CVC, and Madam Vinous sweet orange seedlings, have shown a consistent although low level of transmission of CVC. Test plants were observed for CVC symptoms, analyzed by polymerase chain reaction using species-specific primers for X. fastidiosa, membrane entrapment immunofluorescence, and scanning electron microscopy. X. fastidiosa was not detected in field-collected GWSS but was detected in GWSS following feeding on CVC-infected source plants. Transmission of the CVC strain of X. fastidiosa by GWSS increases the risk of establishment of CVC in the United States if it were introduced.


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  • Xylella fastidiosa