Grapevine trunk disease in European and Mediterranean vineyards: occurrence, distribution and associated disease-affecting cultural factors
- Esca complex,
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A survey was carried out in 22 European and some non-European Mediterranean countries in 2015 and 2016, to gain insights into the main fungal grapevine trunk diseases (GTDs) in Europe. Information was obtained from 105 viticulture regions, representing approx. four million ha of vineyards. Vintage and table wines are the main industry products, followed by nursery plants and table grapes. Diverse scion cultivars are grown, with 13 cultivars providing 50% of survey respondent production, and Riesling Italico, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot predominating. The five most used rootstocks are SO4, 110R, K5BB, 41B and 1103P, together representing about 50% of survey respondent production. Despite the diversity of grapevine training, Guyot and cordon remain the most widespread methods, and grapevines are mainly hand-pruned. The use of pneumatic shears and mechanical pruning is becoming more common in some countries. The survey questionnaire proposed a simplified set of symptoms or diseases occurring in mature vineyards [apoplexy, esca complex leaf symptoms (including Grapevine Leaf Stripe Disease, GLSD), dead cordon, Eutypa related dieback, Botryosphaeria or unidentified agent dieback, Phomopsis cane and leaf spot]. Apoplexy and esca/GLSD, defining the esca complex, were the most frequent and increasing syndromes in almost all countries, except Israel and the United Kingdom, where these diseases are not present or not recorded in the survey. Dead cordon and Phomopsis cane and leaf spot were mentioned as occurring in a large number of regions but not frequently. Within individual countries, the profile of GTDs varied according to the region, and to pedo-climatic and production conditions. GTDs on young vines were uncommon, but remain a subject of concern in some of European countries with large nursery production. This overview on spread and relevance of GTDs in Europe and related aspects will be a useful starting point for policy makers and for collaborative research on factors contributing to the increasing disease incidence of GTDs.