A competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique was evaluated for quantifying titers of imidacloprid in xylem fluid extracted from Vitis vinifera L. grapevines that were treated with systemic applications of the neonicotinoid insecticide Admire. Evidence of matrix effects, factors that compromise the precision and accuracy of the ELISA, was present in assays with undiluted xylem fluid. These effects could be eliminated by dilution of extracts in water, resulting in a lower sensitivity of the assay of 4 μg liter−1. In a field trial conducted in a commercial vineyard, there was an excellent correlation between Admire application rates and xylem fluid concentrations of imidacloprid. At an Admire application rate of 1.17 liter ha−1 (16 fl oz per acre), uptake of imidacloprid into vines was rapid. Imidacloprid was consistently detected in the xylem for up to 3 mo after application at concentrations known to be effective at managing populations of the sharpshooter Homalodisca coagulata Say, an important vector of Xylella fastidiosa Wells in California vineyards. The ELISA is a sensitive technique that can be used to study the behavior of systemic insecticides within crop systems and their impact on pest populations.
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Vol. 98 • No. 1