Delivery of a genetically marked Alcaligenes sp to the glassy-winged sharpshooter for use in a paratransgenic control strategy
An artificial feeding system was designed for the glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS), Homalodisca coagulata Say (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). The system, unlike previous systems, provided enough nutrients to GWSS to survive for 48 h. A system like this is a prerequisite to examining the potential use of paratransgenesis to interrupt transmission of Xylella fastidiosa, the bacterial pathogen causing Pierce's disease of grape, by insect vectors. We developed a system for short-term feeding of GWSS that allows for the introduction of bacteria in liquid medium, and we have demonstrated the ability of Alcaligenes xylosoxidans denitrificans, expressing a red fluorescent protein (dsRed), to colonize the cibarial region of the GWSS foregut for up to 5 weeks post-exposure. Alcaligenes xylosoxidans denitrificans thus occupies the same region in the foregut as the pathogen, Xylella fastidiosa.