Management of grape powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator) using quinone outside inhibitors (QoIs) has eroded in an increasing number of regions due to resistance development. To determine persistence of resistance when QoIs are withdrawn, competition assays were conducted on unsprayed grape plants (Vitis vinifera ‘Chardonnay’) by cycling mixtures of resistant and sensitive isolates characterized as genetically diverse based on microsatellite analyses. Under laboratory conditions, %G143A, quantified by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), increased significantly, indicating competitiveness of the resistant fraction. To confirm competitiveness in the field, trials using potted plants were conducted. Percent G143A tended to decrease in one growing season, probably due to spore migration and mixing of populations with natural background inoculum. In a second season, QoI resistance persisted at high frequency for 4 weeks. Resistant populations were also found to persist in one vineyard without QoI application for four consecutive years. The frequency was still about 25% in the fourth year, with higher frequency (36%) in a hotspot section. QoI-resistant populations with >5% G143A also harbored Y136F in the cyp51 gene that confers some resistance to sterol demethylation inhibitors, another fungicide class for powdery mildew control. Double resistance could have been partly responsible for persistence of QoI resistance at this location.
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