Application of Trichoderma to Prevent Phaeomoniella chlamydospora Infections in Organic Nurseries
out to evaluate the effects of Trichoderma harzianum (Rootshield®) on the morpho-physiological characteristics
of grapevine and on Phaeomoniella chlamydospora artificially inoculated on potted cuttings. The long-distance activity
of Trichoderma against Botrytis cinerea was also examined. The study was performed in a commercial nursery
where plants were grown organically. Results greatly depended on the vine-growth stage at which Trichoderma was
applied. Treatment at rooting was the most effective, whilst callusing-box application or treatments at both rooting
and callusing gave inconsistent but generally negative results. Treatment at rooting further improved the quantitative
and qualitative characteristics of the root system, and increased the percentage of certifiable vines produced.
Moreover, Trichoderma application also reduced the necrotic area caused by B. cinerea inoculated on the leaves
collected from Trichoderma-treated plants and the extent of necrosis of P. chlamydospora-inoculated cuttings. This
reduction in necrosis was significantly higher 15 months after inoculation. On the other hand, Trichoderma increased
vine mortality at the end of the growing season compared with untreated plants. On the whole, only when it
was applied at rooting did Trichoderma produce positive effects on the morpho-phisiological characteristics of grapevine
and increased its tolerance to stress–related diseases, such as forms of esca found in the nursery.
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