Seasonal Abundance and Natural Inoculativity of Insect Vectors of Xylella fastidiosa in Oklahoma Tree Nurseries and Vineyards
Xylella fastidiosa is the causative agent of diseases of perennial plants including peach, plum, elm, oak, pecan, and grape. This bacterial pathogen is transmitted by xylem-feeding insects. In recent years, Pierce's disease of grape has been detected in 10 counties in central and northeastern Oklahoma, prompting further investigation of the disease epidemiology in this state. We surveyed vineyards and tree nurseries in Oklahoma for potential insect vectors to determine species composition, infectivity, and natural inoculativity of commonly captured insect vectors. Yellow sticky cards were used to sample insect fauna at each location. Insects were removed from sticky cards and screened for X. fastidiosa using immunocapture-PCR to determine their infectivity. A second objective was to test the natural inoculativity of insect vectors that are found in vineyards. Graphocephala versuta (Say), Graphocephala coccinea (Forster), Paraulacizes irrorata (F.), Oncometopia orbona (F.), Cuerna costalis (F.), and Entylia carinata Germar were collected from vineyards and taken back to the lab to determine their natural inoculativity. Immunocapture-PCR was used to test plant and insect samples for presence of X. fastidiosa. The three most frequently captured species from vineyards and tree nurseries were G. versuta, Clastoptera xanthocephala Germar, and O. orbona. Of those insects screened for X. fastidiosa, 2.4% tested positive for the bacterium. Field-collected G. versuta were inoculative to both ragweed and alfalfa. Following a 7-d inoculation access period, a higher percentage of alfalfa became infected than ragweed. Results from this study provide insight into the epidemiology of X. fastidiosa in Oklahoma.