Fungi Associated with Esca and Grapevine Declines in Spain : A Three-Year Survey

Antonio Vicent, Francesc García-Figueres, José García-Jiménez, Josep Armengol, Laura Torné


A survey of 140 vineyards in different production areas of Spain was conducted from 1999 to 2001 to
identify pathogenic grapevine wood fungi. Fungal infected vines showed esca and decline symptoms, consisting mainly
of reduced growth of canes and shoots, yellowing and necrotic spotting of leaves, sectorial and central brown necrosis
of the trunk, soft rotted tissues and discoloured xylem at the base of the vines. Several fungi were consistently found
associated with these symptoms: Botryosphaeria obtusa (isolated from 61.4% of all vineyards studied),
Phaeoacremonium aleophilum (26.4%), Cylindrocarpon spp. (20%), Phaeomoniella chlamydospora (18.6%) and
Fomitiporia punctata (15%) were the main fungi found. Less frequently isolated species were: Botryosphaeria dothidea
(6.4%), Eutypa lata (2.1%), and Stereum hirsutum (1.4%). The association of these fungi and their role in esca disease
and grapevine declines, as well as in the decline of young grapevines in Spain are discussed.

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