Pathogenicity of <i>Ilyonectria pseudodestructans </i>propagules to grapevine rootstocks
Black foot disease of grapevines is a major economic issue for the viticulture industry, with several Dactylonectria and Ilyonectria species identified as causal agents worldwide. This study aimed to confirm the pathogenicity of an Ilyonectria pseudodestructans isolate recovered from a symptomatic grapevine in a nationwide survey. An initial pot experiment inoculated callused and root-wounded grapevine propagation material of varieties ‘101- 14’ and ‘5C’ with I. pseudodestructans conidia. The second pot experiment compared the pathogenicity of I. pseudodestructans conidial, chlamydospore and mycelial inocula. Disease incidence, severity and root and shoot dry weights were determined after 4–5 months of growth. Ilyonectria pseudodestructans was recovered from inoculated plants resulting in higher disease incidence and severity compared with the uninoculated control. Disease severity and incidence was higher for callused compared to rooted propagation material, but did not differ between grapevine varieties. Conidial inoculum caused greater disease incidence and severity compared with chlamydospore and mycelial inocula. Ilyonectria pseudodestructans propagules infected grapevine plant material via the callused basal ends or wounded roots, indicating this species is a potentially important pathogen of grapevines both in nurseries and vineyards.