Virulence affected by assay parameters during grapevine pathogenicity studies with Botryosphaeriaceae nursery isolates



This study assessed the symptoms that developed when 114 Botryosphaeriaceae isolates from grapevine nursery plant materials were used to inoculate excised green shoots and 1-year-old rooted canes of Sauvignon blanc. The experiments showed that all isolates and species were able to produce lesions. Overall, the Neofusicoccum species were shown to be highly pathogenic in both tissue types while the Diplodia species were highly pathogenic on canes but not on green shoots. Isolates of the most prevalent species, N. luteum and N. parvum, showed varying lesion lengths on excised green shoots and canes. An evaluation of the factors associated with lengths of lesions showed that they were significantly affected by experimental batch which reflected inherent host and environmental factors over time. Reisolation from inoculated canes also indicated that most isolates of all species except D. seriata were able to spread internally beyond the lesions. Genetic variability analysis using UP-PCR showed that N. luteum isolates were genetically diverse but no association was observed between the phylogenetic group and degree of pathogenicity caused by the isolates. This study demonstrated that all Botryosphaeriaceae species from grapevine nurseries were pathogenic to grapevines and that the lesion lengths varied between species, among isolates within a species and among nursery sources, and was affected by the test method.