Biological control of botrytis bunch rot in organic wine grapes with the yeast antagonist Candida sake CPA-1




The aim of this research was to confirm the efficacy of the yeast antagonist Candida sake CPA-1 in suppressing botrytis bunch rot development, in an organic vineyard under Mediterranean conditions for two seasons, and compare its performance with that of two biologically based products currently registered for botrytis bunch rot control in New Zealand. In 2009, treatments applied were: commercial formulations of Ulocladium oudemansii (BOTRY-Zen®) and chitosan (ARMOUR-Zen®), C. sake CPA-1 combined with the fatty acid-based additive Fungicover® and combinations of these products. All treatments were applied six times between early flowering and harvest and compared with an unsprayed control. In 2010, the treatments focused on C. sake and Fungicover and the number of applications was reduced from six to four. The population dynamics of U. oudemansii and C. sake were measured and wine quality tests were carried out in both seasons. Disease control achieved by C. sake treatments in 2009 were comparable to those achieved by BOTRY-Zen and ARMOUR-Zen. Applications of C. sake plus Fungicover between flowering and harvest significantly (< 0·05) reduced botrytis bunch rot incidence and severity by 64% and 90%, respectively, compared with the untreated control in 2009, and by 67% and 89%, respectively, in 2010. Treatments did not adversely affect wine quality parameters after treated grapes were processed. Candida sake consistently provided effective control of botrytis bunch rot in grapes under different meteorological and disease pressure conditions, thereby improving its potential for future commercial applications.