Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis 95616
California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N St., Sacramento 95814
Black-foot disease, caused by Cylindrocarpon obtusisporum (Cook & Harkn.) Wollenweb., impacts young table and wine grape (Vitis vinifera) plantings throughout California. Two- to 5-year-old grapevines showed reduced vigor with small-sized trunks, shortened internodes, uneven wood maturity, sparse foliage, and small leaves with interveinal chlorosis and necrosis. In cross-section, trunks showed dark brown to black streaking in a few to most of the vascular elements. Symptoms included a reduction in root biomass and root hairs with sunken, necrotic root lesions. Pith of affected vines was compacted and discolored. Isolations made from roots, vascular elements, and pith tissue consistently yielded colonies of C. obtusisporum as verified by descriptions in standard texts. Koch's postulates were completed by dipping the roots of cv. Carignane seedlings in a 108 spore per ml suspension for 30 min. Plants were repotted in an artificial soil mix and held in a controlled environment facility at 24°C. Typical black-foot symptoms developed on 92% of the plants within 8 weeks. Control plants dipped in distilled water remained healthy. Cylindrocarpon destructans, a species closely related to C. obtusisporum, was first reported to cause “black-foot disease” on young vines in 1961 (2). In 1975, C. obtusisporum was reported to produce similar “black-foot” symptoms (1). We propose the common name Cylindrocarpon black-foot disease be used with both species.
References: (1) S. Grasso et al. Vitis 14:36, 1975. (2) D. R. Maluta and P. Larignon. Viticulture 11:71, 1991.