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Botryosphaeria-related dieback and control investigated in noncoastal California grapevines

  • Author(s): Epstein, Lynn
  • Kaur, Sukhwinder
  • VanderGheynst, Jean S.
  • et al.
Abstract

Dieback, or “dead arm,” in noncoastal California grapevines is most commonly caused by Botryosphaeria spp. Using Koch’s postulates, we demonstrated that isolates of B. obtusa are pathogenic on grapevines. We initiated studies to investigate the life cycle of B. obtusa and ways to control it with cultural practices. Fungal spores disseminated by rainstorms were collected in traps in an Arbuckle vineyard from December 2006 through spring 2007. The data suggests that B. obtusa was rain-disseminated throughout winter and spring, and that pycnidia on deadwood in the vines is a major source of inoculum for new infections. Transmission may also be possible via vegetative propagation, pruning shears and insects. Durable latex paints were investigated for protecting pruning and surgical wounds; a self-priming latex paint was shown to be an effective barrier and was nonphytotoxic.

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