Texas AgriLife Research and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service will host the sixth-annual Texas Pierce's Disease Symposium on April 16.

The symposium will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Thurman’s Mansion, located at 17900 Farm-to-Market Road 1826 in Driftwood.

“The symposium will feature a top-notch group of scientists with relevant findings that will have a practical application to vineyard operations,” said Jim Kamas, AgriLife Extension fruit specialist in Fredericksburg and symposium coordinator.

This year’s topics will include: a Pierce’s disease primer for new and prospective growers; practical management of disease hosts; vector identification and ecology; a Pierce’s disease retrospective; updates on California and the impact of politics on the wine-grape industry; and the use of neo-nicotinoid control products in relation to material selection, timing, frequency and cost.

Kamas said information and research from Texas A&M University, the Texas Pierce’s Disease Research and Education Program, California Department of Food and Agriculture, University of Houston-Downtown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the University of Florida will be presented and discussed.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Don Hopkins, a plant pathologist from the University of Florida, he said. Hopkins' presentation will be “Cross-Protection of Grapevines Using a Mildly Virulent Strain of Xyllela Fastidiosa.”

“Don has discovered a mild strain of xyllela in mulberry that appears to protect grapevines from PD,” Kamas said. “We’re excited to have him at the symposium to talk about his previous research and give us an update on his upcoming establishment of research plots in Texas where he will be testing the use of this strain.”

Kamas said he and other researchers are interested in the potential practical application of Hopkins’ research for commercial wine-grape growers in Texas.

Registration for the symposium is $40 through April 10 and $50 thereafter. Registration includes materials, refreshments, a catered barbecue lunch from the Salt Lick and a post-symposium wine reception.

Attendance is limited to 100, so attendees are requested to register as soon as possible, Kamas said.

Attendees can register online at http://agrilifevents.tamu.edu, by phone at 979-845-2604 or by fax to 979-862-4511.

For more information, contact Becky Mazurek at the AgriLife Extension office in Fredericksburg at 830-997-7047 or bmazurek@ag.tamu.edu.

A map to Thurman’s Mansion can be found at http://thurmansmansion.com/.