Assessing the relationship between cordon strangulation, dieback, and fungal trunk disease symptom expression

Grapevine trunk diseases including Eutypa dieback are a major factor in the decline of vineyards and may lead to loss of productivity, reduced income, and premature reworking or replanting. Several studies have yielded results indicating that vines may be more likely to express symptoms of vascular disease if their health is already compromised by stress. In Australia and many other wine-growing regions it is a common practice for canes to be wrapped tightly around the cordon wire during the establishment of permanent cordon arms. It is likely that this practice may have a negative effect on health and longevity, as older cordons that have been trained in this manner often display signs of decay and dieback, with the wire often visibly embedded within the wood of the cordon. It is possible that adopting a training method which avoids constriction of the vasculature of the cordon may help to limit the onset of vascular disease symptom expression. A survey was conducted during the spring of two consecutive growing seasons on vineyards in South Australia displaying symptoms of Eutypa lata infection when symptomless shoots were 50–100 cm long. Vines were assessed as follows: (i) the proportion of cordon exhibiting dieback was rated using a 0–100% scale; (ii) the proportion of canopy exhibiting foliar symptoms of Eutypa dieback was rated using a 0–100% scale; (iii) the severity of strangulation was rated using a 0–4 point scale. Images were also taken of each vine for the purpose of measuring plant area index (PAI) using the VitiCanopy App. The goal of the survey was to determine if and to what extent any correlation exists between severity of strangulation and cordon dieback, in addition to Eutypa dieback foliar symptom expression.

Authors: Patrick O’Brien1, Roberta De Bei1 and Cassandra Collins1,2

1Waite Research Institute, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond SA, Australia
2ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production, Waite Research Institute, Glen Osmond SA, Australia

Email: cassandra.collins@adelaide.edu.au

Keywords: constriction, decline, dieback, Eutypa lata, trunk disease

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