Link to home

Botrytis cinerea Infection of Grape Flowers: Light and Electron Microscopical Studies of Infection Sites

August 2004 , Volume 94 , Number  8
Pages  850 - 857

Olivier Viret , Markus Keller , V. Gunta Jaudzems , and F. Mary Cole

First author: Agroscope RAC-Changins, Swiss Federal Agricultural Research Station, 1260 Nyon 1, Switzerland; second author: Washington State University, Prosser 99350; third author: Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia; and fourth author: Monash University, Frankston, Victoria 3199, Australia

Go to article:
Accepted for publication 5 April 2004.

Specific floral organs including the calyptra, stigma, and receptacle area of glasshouse-grown grapevines (Vitis vinifera cv. Cabernet Sauvignon) were inoculated with aqueous suspensions of Botrytis cinerea conidia, and the initial steps involved in colonization and infection of the host tissues were studied for several days postinoculation using light microscopy as well as scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Conidia germinated on all floral organs examined and became attached to the host surface within 48 h after inoculation. However, in all cases the vast majority of conidia accumulated in a channel-like gap between the ovary and the calyx that extended in a narrowing fashion into the flower interior where the ovary joined the receptacle. Very few conidial germ tubes were detected in the style following inoculation of the stigma, and no evidence for their growth toward the ovaries could be found. In contrast, hyphae were more abundant in the receptacle area, regardless of the site of inoculation. Tips of the calyx became necrotic and mycelium formed in the gap between ovary and calyx within 72 h following inoculation, providing a major point of colonization and infection. B. cinerea colonized dehiscent calyptras within 72 h of inoculation, providing a potential source of inoculum from calyptras that remained stuck in the cluster. The results suggest that the grape flower's receptacle area is the predominant site of infection for B. cinerea, although a minor portion of infections may also occur through the stigma and style.

Additional keywords: flower infection, gray mold, latent infection.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2004