The 2008 Pierce’s Disease Research Symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, on April 30 at Thurman Mansion at the Salt Lick in Driftwood.

The symposium is open to the public, but attendance is limited to the first 100 registrants, said Jim Kamas, Texas AgriLife Extension Service fruit specialist in Fredericksburg, event coordinator and presenter.

“The symposium will be useful to anyone with a commercial wine-grape vineyard or thinking about producing wine grapes,” Kamas said. “We’ll have a top-notch group of scientists presenting relevant findings that will have real-life applications in vineyard operations.”

Kamas added that Pierce’s disease is a major impediment to wine-grape production in Texas and other wine-grape producing states, costing producers millions of dollars annually.

Dr. Nick Toscano of the University of California at Riverside will be the keynote speaker and will present on the topic of insecticide use for managing grapevine pests.

“Dr. Toscano will present useful information on the strengths, weaknesses and practical applications of insecticides that represent the first line of defense against Pierce’s disease insect vectors,” Kamas said.

Other symposium presentation topics will include: new directions in Pierce’s disease epidemiology in Texas vineyards; how the bacterium linked to Pierce’s disease became so widespread; the 2008 Texas High Plains insect trapping program; Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory overview and capabilities; the glassy-winged sharpshooter and other disease vectors; bacteria and insect interface; and natural enemies of Pierce’s disease bacterium.

Registration for the symposium by April 25 is $40 and includes a barbeque lunch from the Salt Lick restaurant and a post-symposium reception featuring Texas wines. Registration at the door will be $50 with no guarantee of lunch.

Thurman Mansion is a two-story building to the east of the Salt Lick restaurant, located at 18301 FM 1826 in Driftwood, about 27 miles southwest of Austin.

For more information on the symposium, contact Kamas at j-kamas@tamu.edu.

For a Texas Pierce’s disease program review and to register, go to http://pd.tamu.edu.