Esca (Black Measles) of Grapevine. An Overview

Luigi Chiarappa


Research on the nature of esca started in 1898 in France and continued there until 1926. Two lignicolous
basidiomycetes (Stereum hirsutum and Fomes igniarius) were believed to be the causal organisms of an internal
wood decay. Studies conducted by Petri in Sicily in 1912 revealed that fungi of the genera Cephalosporium and
Acremonium were causing alterations around and far away from wounds. In 1959 in California, the pathogenicity of
Cephalosporium species and the wood-rotting ability of Fomes igniarius were proved. In the 90’s numerous studies
were conducted in France, Italy, South Africa and California, and important advances were made in understanding
the etiology and epidemiology of the disease.

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