New technique promises early detection of common vineyard diseases

A novel method for early detection of mildew, powdery mildew and botrytis in vines has been developed in Spain.

Grapes showing fungal infection - image:Robert Pitkin
Grapes showing fungal infection - image:Robert Pitkin

The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, Neiker-Tecnalia, has adapted a technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect the genetic material of the spores of the three fungi, Plasmopara viticola, Erysiphe necator and Botrytis cinerea.

This enables prompt treatment before symptoms appear, giving growers several days' head start before they spread in the vineyard, the institute claims.


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