Vol. 55 No. 3 (2016)
Research Papers

Patterns of phytoalexins in the grapevine leaf stripe disease (esca complex)/grapevine pathosystem

Università degli Studi di Teramo, Facoltà di BioScienze e Tecnologie Agro-Alimentari ed Ambientali, Via Renato Balzarini, 1, 64100 Teramo, Italy

Published 2016-12-31


  • phytoalexins,
  • GLSD

How to Cite

F. CALZARANO, “Patterns of phytoalexins in the grapevine leaf stripe disease (esca complex)/grapevine pathosystem”, Phytopathol. Mediterr., vol. 55, no. 3, pp. 410–426, Dec. 2016.


Vineyards containing vines affected with grapevine leaf stripe disease (GLSD), one of the diseases of the esca complex, suffer losses in grape yield and quality every growing season. To examine the relation between GLSD foliar symptoms and levels of phytoalexins in grapevine, phytoalexin levels were monitored in the leaves of symptomatic, asymptomatic/diseased, and healthy grapevine leaves, at various growth stages, in two vineyards in Italy, over four growing seasons. At the same time, the leaf symptoms of the vines at some of those growth stages were recorded in each vineyard and in each growing season. The compounds extracted and identified were: trans-resveratrol, trans-pterostilbene, trans-ε-viniferin and trans-δ-viniferin. The most common phytoalexin found was resveratrol. Amounts of all the phytoalexins were generally greater in symptomatic leaves than in asymptomatic/diseased or healthy leaves. In symptomatic leaves, resveratrol levels were greatest at pre-bunch closure, and peaks in pterostilbene occurred at the same time. Leaves of each category (symptomatic, asymptomatic/diseased, healthy) had lower amounts of these compounds at veraison and generally higher amounts at the stages of harvesting and/or the softening of berries. It seems therefore that the formation and pattern over time of the phytoalexins was linked to the growth stage of the vines. Leaf symptoms never occurred before pre-bunch closure, but became much more common from veraison to harvest. This study provides evidence of a relationship between the levels of phytoalexins, grapevine growth stage, and the seasonal pattern of development of GLSD symptoms.


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