Impact of pymetrozine on glassy-winged sharpshooter feeding behavior and rate of Xylella fastidiosa transmission
Pymetrozine is a compound that interferes with insect feeding and interrupts transmission of plant pathogens. The glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca coagulata Say ( Hemiptera, Cicadellidae), is a vector of Xylella fastidiosa, the foregut-borne, propagative bacterium that causes Pierce's disease of grapevine. In this study, we recorded the behavioral response of H. coagulata to plants treated by soil drench with pymetrozine using time-lapse photography, quantified the reduction in liquid excreta produced by H. coagulata fed on pymetrozine-treated plants, and evaluated pymetrozine effectiveness in reducing transmission rate in grapevines. H. coagulata feeding on plants treated with 0.015 mg of pymetrozine was disrupted by decreasing the number of contacts made with the grapevine by more than 50% and by increasing movements away from the stem by more than 5-fold. Excreta production by H. coagulata was significantly reduced on plants treated with 0.015 or 0.0075 mg of pymetrozine. Contrary to the expected outcome, the mean number of X. fastidiosa-infected plants actually increased in the pymetrozine treatments relative to the controls.