Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside 92521
University of California Cooperative Extension, Indio 92201
Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Riverside 92521
Xylella fastidiosa is a xylem-limited bacterium that causes Pierce's disease (PD) of grapevines. A variety of plant species found near a severe outbreak of PD in vineyards in the Temecula Valley of California were tested using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, culture on media, and polymerase chain reaction to identify potential inoculum sources in the area. Species that consistently tested positive for X. fastidiosa were the known hosts, grape, almond, and oleander, and two new hosts, Spanish broom (Spartium junceum) and wild mustard (Brassica spp). Sequence analysis of the 16S-23S rRNA spacer region found that strains isolated from grapevine, Spanish broom, wild mustard, and almond clustered with previously sequenced PD strains. Thus, these species could serve as sources of inoculum for infection of grapevines and should be removed or monitored for signs of infection. Sequences from oleander isolates from Temecula formed another cluster with a previously published oleander strain sequence. Oleander strains do not infect grapevines and thus do not appear to cause a direct threat to grapevines. Two additional isolates from almond were determined to be genetically different from PD strains, and the ability of these strains to infect grapevine is not known. Greenhouse transmission studies indicate that the glassy-winged sharpshooter was able to transmit a PD strain of X. fastidiosa to Spanish broom, black mustard, and other hosts.