Symptoms of young grapevine decline and failure of planting material have
plagued the raisin, table, and wine grape industry since the 1990s. Evaluation
of declining young vineyards has revealed that many factors are involved in the
poor performance of vines. Fungal trunk pathogens have been extensively
investigated and are now considered one of the major causes of this syndrome.
Black-foot and Petri diseases, and species of Botryosphaeriaceae, all contribute
to young grapevine decline, reducing productivity and longevity, thereby causing
considerable economic loss to the industry. Subsequent investigations have led
to the conclusion that planting material used in young vineyards is already
infected, either systemically from infected mother vines or by contamination
during the propagation process. In this review, the causal organisms and their
associated symptoms are discussed. Specific attention is given to the grapevine
propagating process, the potential inoculum sources, and the detection tools
being developed to facilitate rapid identification of these pathogens. The
review also evaluates the currently known management strategies applied in
nurseries. Lastly, an overview is given of how to minimize the economic impact
of these pathogens and to improve the quality of planting material.
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