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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Evaluation of fungicide programs for management of Botrytis bunch rot of grapes: 2010 field trial


Bunch rot of grapes is caused by Botrytis cinerea, a fast-growing pathogen infecting numerous crops of commercial value. Bunch rot can potentially lead to a reduction in the yield and quality of table, raisin, and wine grapes, with high economic losses in some locations or years (Flaherty et al. 1992). Botrytis overwinters as sclerotia in mummified berries on the ground or on canes. The disease can first appear as shoot blight following frequent spring rains; flowers can become infected during bloom (Bulit and Dubos 1988). In infected fruits, disease symptoms are latent until late in the season. As sugar concentration increases in the berry, the fungus resumes growth and infects the entire fruit, often resulting in berry splitting and sporulation on the fruit surface (Flaherty et al. 1992). Free water is a requirement for the pathogen, and favorable conditions include humidities exceeding 90% and temperatures between 15-27°C (Flaherty et al. 1992, Bulit and Dubos 1988, Gubler et al. 2008). Along with leaf removal and other cultural controls, good spray coverage with a synthetic fungicide is currently the most effective form of disease management.

We examined the efficacy of 21 fungicide treatment programs for control of Botrytis bunch rot in Clone 4 Chardonnay grapes in Carneros, Napa County, California in 2010. Materials included synthetic, biological, and organic treatments. Four applications were made between June and September 2010.

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