The Effect of Hot-Water Treatment on FUngi Occurring in Apparently Healthy Grapevine Cuttings

Lizeth Swart, Pedro W. Crous, Sonja Coertze


Many grapevine nurseries are presently employing a hot-water treatment for propagation material as a
prophylactic measure. The aim of this study was thus to determine the efficacy of this treatment in eliminating
fungal endophytes from grapevine cuttings. The number of fungal colonies isolated from the hot-water treated
cuttings 6 months after planting were not, however, significantly different (P=0.05) from that of the untreated cuttings.
This was in contrast to where isolations were made directly after treatment, when no known living fungal pathogens
were found inside treated vine tissue. These results therefore indicate that the hot-water treatment is effective in
eliminating the most well-known fungal pathogens and endophytes from grapevine tissue. Further research now
needs to be focused on combining this treatment with biological control agents in an attempt to delay recolonisation
of tissue by fungal pathogens.

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