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January 01, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Second Pest Threatens State Vineyards: California's wine industry, still hurting from the root-eating pest phylloxera, now faces a threat from the sharpshooter, a quarter-inch-long insect that is attacking vineyards in the wine country north of San Francisco. The insect feeds on many different plants, including young grapevines, sucking the sap. It does not kill the plants directly but carries xylella fastidiosa, a bacterium that causes many maladies, including the fatal Pierce's disease. Pierce's disease, once called Anaheim disease, destroyed virtually all the vineyards in Orange County earlier in the century. Researchers hope to determine whether some rootstocks might resist Pierce's disease as they do phylloxera.

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