Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824.
Two fungi were isolated from grapevines in Michigan vineyards with Eutypa dieback symptoms: Eutypa lata and Eutypella vitis. These fungi are difficult to distinguish morphologically but are genetically distinct as determined by sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions. The ITS regions of 25 Eutypa lata and 15 Eutypella vitis isolates were sequenced. Eutypa lata sequences were more variable than those of Eutypella vitis. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers were designed for each species and evaluated against isolates of both fungi as well as 11 closely related Diatrypaceous fungi and 23 isolates of other fungi representing various pathogenic, saprophytic, and endophytic genera on grape and other small fruit crops. The primers were specific for their intended species. A nested multiplex PCR protocol was developed and used to successfully detect these fungi in wood samples from cankers with and without stromata from naturally infected vines as well as in artificially inoculated, potted canes. The primers developed in this study will assist in our abilities to diagnose and study the roles of Eutypa lata and Eutypella vitis in Eutypa dieback development.