The relative susceptibility of grapevine rootstocks to black foot disease is dependent on inoculum pressure
Keywords:Ilyonectria, Dactylonectria, Cylindrocarpon, Vitis spp., disease severity, disease incidence
Black foot disease of grapevines is a major economic issue for the viticulture industry worldwide. The disease is mainly associated with a complex of pathogen species within the genera Dactylonectria and Ilyonectria. The susceptibility of six grapevine rootstock cultivars to black foot disease under field conditions was assessed. Callused rootstocks of 101-14, 5C, 420A, Riparia Gloire, Schwarzmann and 3309C were planted into soil containing low natural pathogen populations or inoculated with isolates representing the species diversity in New Zealand. Disease incidence, disease severity and dry weight accumulation were assessed after 8 months of growth. Root and shoot dry weights were not significantly affected by inoculation treatment, but differed among rootstock cultivars, with cultivar 420A having the lowest root and shoot dry weight, cultivar 3309C having the largest shoot dry weight and cultivar 5C the largest root dry weight. The relative susceptibility of rootstocks differed significantly depending on whether they were grown under low natural inoculum pressure or a higher pressure in artificially inoculated soil. Schwarzmann and Riparia Gloire rootstock cultivars were the least susceptible under natural low inoculum pressure, but were the most susceptible in inoculated soil. In contrast, 5C was one of the most susceptible under low inoculum levels but was the least susceptible under high pathogen pressure. The result of the study indicate that black foot pathogen inoculum levels in soil affect the relative susceptibility of grapevine rootstocks to infection, and may have implications for the selection of rootstocks for planting.