Pierce's disease

\ ˈpir-səz- How to pronounce Pierce's disease (audio) \

Definition of Pierce's disease

: a disease of grapes that is caused by a bacterium (Xylella fastidiosa fastidiosa) which blocks the flow of xylem, that is marked especially by yellowing and browning of the leaves, leaf loss, shriveling of fruit clusters, stunted and irregular new growth, and eventual death of the vines within one to five years, and that is spread by sap-feeding leafhoppers and spittlebugs Carried by an insect, Pierce's disease affects grapevines much like a severe drought condition, causing the grapevines to eventually shut down from lack of moisture.— Robyn Bullard Pierce's disease is most prevalent in mild-winter areas and is the principal factor limiting European grapevine cultivation in the American South.— Steve Heimoff

First Known Use of Pierce's disease

1941, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Pierce's disease

after Newton B. Pierce †1916 U.S. plant pathologist, who described the disease

Note: Pierce, born about 1856, wrote about the infestation in The California Vine Disease: A Preliminary Report of Investigations, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Division of Vegetable Diseases, Bulletin No. 2 (Washington, 1892).

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The first known use of Pierce's disease was in 1941

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Cite this Entry

“Pierce's disease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Pierce%27s%20disease. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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