Wayne M. Pitt, National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC), School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2678, Australia;
Florent P. Trouillas and
Walter D. Gubler, Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis 95616;
Sandra Savocchia, NWGIC; and
Mark R. Sosnowski, South Australian Research and Development Institute, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
In addition to Eutypa lata, which causes Eutypa dieback, numerous other fungi in the Diatrypaceae family have been isolated from diseased grapevines (Vitis vinifera) and other woody hosts. Pathogenicity trials comprising 70 strains of diatrypaceous fungi representing nine species in six genera were conducted to determine whether these fungi, collected in Australia, were pathogenic to grapevines. When inoculated into wounded trunks of ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’, eight species, including E. lata, E. leptoplaca, Cryptovalsa ampelina, C. rabenhorstii, Eutypella citricola, E. microtheca, Diatrypella vulgaris, and a Diatrype sp. produced necrotic lesions significantly longer than on controls. In addition, all nine species (including a Cryptosphaeria sp.) were reisolated from the margins of developing lesions and at varying distances above and below the point of inoculation. Diatrypaceous fungi were frequently isolated from asymptomatic or otherwise healthy tissue several centimeters ahead of the disease margin. Methods to control diseases associated with diatrypaceous fungi must take into account their propensity to colonize woody tissues ahead of or in the absence of visible symptoms. Current recommendations for the management of Eutypa dieback using remedial surgery and pruning wound protection appear sufficient for the control of the other diatrypaceous fungi included in this study.