Vol 17, No 3 (2011)

Published June 25, 2011


The importance of pathogen-free grapevine propagation material in regards to clonal selection and rootstock breeding in Germany

High performing propagation material is essential for a reliable and economical production of quality grapes. Apart from genetic aspects pathogen-freedom is of prime importance in propagation material. In particular virus diseases cause major yield and quality losses and reduced longevity. This is also reflected in the current EU legislation, w...hich focuses on the most common and dangerous viruses: GFLV, ArMV, GLRaV-I and GLRaV-III.Apart from these, locally occurring pathogens, e.g. phytoplasms or agrobacterium, are important as well and should not be present in propagation material. There are several ways to develop pathogen-free clones. Starting with already pathogen-free material is certainly the easiest case, but might not be feasible in local varieties with small acreages and limited vine numbers. In these cases the elimination of pathogens is required, either by heat therapy, tissue culture or somatic embryo genesis.

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The importance of clonal selection of grapevine and the role of selected clones in production of healthy propagating stocks

Genetical alterations and phytosanitary status promote the variability and modify the appearance of vine. Old vine varieties in old vineyards are highly variable and well adapted to selection. Clonal selektion is based on a visual performance: valuable individuals (clones) are picked out according to visible symptoms or characters. The genetica...l stability of clones is proved by testing the vegetatively propagated progenies on the basis of morphological and molekular (SSR, AFLP, SMPL, RAPD) markes. Authors take great care of the visual phytosanitary selection as part of the clonal selection being the oreliminary step to develop pathogen-free propagation stocks. In Serbia (Vojvodina) the selection breeding has been carried on for several decades resulted in comparative clone trials with home and imported clones of Welsch Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot gris, White Riesling. Among the clones of home selection SK.54 Welsch Riesling clone is the most valuable. Its clearing from pathogene is being carried on in an interregional IPA programme (HUSRB/0901/214/123) in Kecskemét. In Kecskemét, the centre of the Hungarian Danube vine region 5 vine clones have been registered (Cegléd szépe K.73, Irsai Olivér K.11, Kövidinka K.8, Hárslevelû K.9, Pannónia kincse K.56). Besides them 18 virus-tested clones have also been qualified.Works aiming at their complete exemption are going on in order to obtain clones free of propagation wood-borne diseases.

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Virus and virus-like diseases of grapevine in Hungary

Viruses and viroids are submicroscopic infectious particles which can cause disease symptoms on grapevine. These parasites are depending completely on the energy metabolism of the plant cell. To enter the host cell plant viruses depend on injuries or on transmission via invertebrates (insects, nematodes, etc.). Viruses are classified by many ch...aracters including particle morphology, host range and information content of the genome. At present about 70 viruses including 7 viroids infecting grapevine are known. In single or mixed infections they are potentially detrimental to the quality and quantity of grape production in any growing area of the world. Some viruses can cause severe economic damage in vineyards. In Hungary many important viruses and viroids have been detected in grape. This review summarises characteristics of viruses and the results of detection and characterization of virus and virus like diseases of grapevine in Hungary. The identification of the causal agent, its transmission, geographical distribution and the development of the diagnostic methods are also discussed.

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Phytoplasma diseases of grapevine and the possible measures to control them

Phytoplasmas are a special group of phloem-living pathogens in several plant species. Grapevine yellows (GY) is a term for phytoplasma diseases occurring on Vitis vinifera and inducing the same or very similar symptoms and causing severe losses worldwide. Flavescence Dorée (16SrV) phytoplasma (FD, species name: ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma vitis...) is considered a quarantine pest in several countries due to its epidemic character and high economic loss it provokes. The leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus is the univoltine and monophagous vector of FD. Bois noir disease caused by stolbur (16SrXII-A) phytoplasma (species name: ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’) is described under different disease names in different countries. Hyalesthes obsoletus (Cixiidae) is the only proved polyphagous vector of BN. However, distribution of BN disease is increasing also on those areas where H. obsoletus is not prevalent or only in a very low number. Therefore the presence of other vectors cannot be concluded. The ‘Tuf-a’ type Stolbur phytoplasma is associated with stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) and the tuf-b type one to field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis). There are only preventive control measures against phytoplasmas: the use of pathogen-free propagating material, hot water treatment of propagating material, as well as control of vectors and weeds. S. titanus can be efficiently controlled by insecticide treatments. However, in case of H. obsoletus, insecticides are not effective due to the biological characters and feeding habits of the vector.Weed control can reduce H. obsoletus specimen and their abundance to a certain extent. Extensive research is needed on wild hosts of GY phytoplasmas especially on BN phytoplasma and its vectors to the better understanding of their epidemiology.

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Bacterial diseases of grapevine

Grapevines are affected by three major bacterial diseases worldwide, such as bacterial blight (Xylophilus ampelinus), Pierce’s disease (Xylella fastidiosa) and crown gall (Agrobacterium vitis). These bacteria grow in the vascular system of their host, thus they invade and colonize the whole plant, independently on symptom development. Latentl...y infected propagating material is a major factor in their spreading. Therefore the use of bacteria-free planting stock has a basic importance in viticulture. Today several innovative diagnostic methods, mostly based on polymerase chain reaction, are available to detect and identify bacterial pathogens of grapevines. For production of bacteria-free plants, the use hot water treatment followed by establishment of in vitro shoot tip cultures is proposed.

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Propagation material borne fungus pathogens causing early stock decay in vineyards

A decline, a slow or sudden decay of vine trunks can occur in any phase of trunk life. In senescent or old plantages the increase in trunk decay is quite common but it is unacceptable in young plantage in their best production years.All over the world as well as in Hungary, a drastic decay of young trunks in nurseries and new plantages have cau...sed panic in the past decades. From among the numerous fungal pathogens which are responsible for considerable financial and yield losses and threaten stock vigour Petri disease, esca and Black foot are the most important. In young decaying plants the fungal species Phaeomoniella chlamydospora, Phaeoacremonium spp. and Cylindrocarpon spp. were the most frequent while other fungi causing different trunk diseases, cancer or decay, like Eutypa lata, Botryosphaeria spp. and Fomitiporia mediterranea were also found. The most important infection source is the infected propagation material. Infection is systematic, the disease process is latent, diseased plants cannot be cured, thus, prevention is the only answer to the challenge.

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A complex system for the production of pathogen-free grapevine propagating material

The use of pathogen-free planting stock for new vineyard establishment is a key component in the maintenance and expansion of vine and quality table grape production. The success of the necessary changes in the structure of the grape industry is forced by the globalization process, the climate change, the rediscovery of autochton varieties as w...ell as breeding of new tolerant and resistant varieties. The renewal of vineyards largely depend on the availability of planting stocks. Serbia and Hungary found a common interest in establishing pathogen-free stock materials from newly breed resistant varieties and clonal selections of varieties which are traditional in the Serbian-Hungarian border area. During a cross-border cooperation program a complex system for the production of pathogen-free grapevine propagating material was established. Using heat therapy, in vitro shoot tip culture and traditional and molecular diagnostic techniques new pathogen-free stock materials were established from 26 varieties. They have been or will be tested for the presence of most important grapevine viruses, phytoplasmas, as well as bacterial and fungal pathogens. The complex system applying green grafting for indexing on grapevine indicators can shorten the duration of the procedure from 4 years to two-three years.

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