Species in the fungal family Botryosphaeriaceae are known for causing grapevine trunk diseases in grape-producer regions worldwide. Declining vineyards were surveyed in Catalonia (NE Spain) to characterize those diseases on adult plants and to identify their causing agents. Most comon grapevine trunk diseases (esca, Eutypa dieback and black dead arm disease) were confirmed to occur in Catalonia. However, concurrence of symptoms in the same plant, belonging to at least two different diseases, often difficults disease diagnosis. Most frequently isolated fungal pathogens were Phaeomoniella chlamydospora, Fomitiporia mediterranea, Eutypa lata and several species of Botryosphaeriaceae. Six botryosphaeriaceous species were identified, in decreasing abundance order: Diplodia seriata, Neofusicoccum parvum, Dothiorella viticola, Botryosphaeria dothidea, N. luteum and N. vitifusiforme. The controversy in the taxonomy of Botryosphaeriaceae due to confusing morphological similarities among the species was resolved by combining the study of conidial morphology and multigene nucleotide data. A sensitive tool for a rapid detection of Botryosphaeriaceae species was developed based on the co-operational PCR technique and the use of a hybridization probe. The probe was designed to target the ITS region (internal transcribed spacers) of the rRNA repeat. It identified specifically the above Botryosphaeriaceae species isolated from grapevine plus Diplodia mutila. Five botryosphaeriaceuos species were tested for mycotoxin production, namely B. dothidea, Di. seriata, Do. viticola, N. luteum and N. parvum. All species produced hydrofilic phytotoxic compounds, and N. luteum and N. parvum were also shown to produce low-weight lipophilic toxins. These results support the high virulence showed by N. luteum and N. parvum in the patogenicity test. Virulence of Dothiorella viticola, N. vitifusiforme and Di. seriata was weak to low, while B. dothidea showed an intermediate virulence. In terms of host susceptibility, rootstock 140Ru was the less susceptible to the botryosphaeriaceous fungi tested while 41B was the most susceptible one. However, no great differences in susceptibility were observed among the six grapevine varieties tested (Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Macabeo, Parellada, Tempranillo and Xarel·lo). Some plant species from the surroundings of vineyards, namely almond, peach and walnut trees, holm oak and rockroses, were shown to be susceptible to some Botryosphaeriaceae species. It is hypothesized that these species could act as alternative hosts for those pathogens. Hydric stress in combination with N. parvum infection was studied as a potential factor that could affect disease development. Physiological and growth parameters of grapevine were modified by both hydric stress and N. parvum main effects, but no combined effects were detected. Vascular necroses were similar in both stressed and non-stressed grapevines, therefore N. parvum is not considered as a weakness pathogen.
|Date of Award||2 Jun 2008|
|Supervisor||Josep Girbal Lladó (Tutor) & Jordi Luque Font (Director)|