11th International Workshop on Grapevine Trunk Diseases, Canada, July 2019

Abstract

Dr Mark Sosnowski attended the 11th International Workshop on Grapevine Trunk Diseases (IWGTD) in Canada with support from Wine Australia. The primary objective was to present results from Wine Australia research and to hear about the latest international developments in grapevine trunk disease (GTD) research. As regional councilor for Australasia on the International Council on Grapevine Trunk Disease, he attended the biennial council meeting and was a member of the Scientific Committee. Whilst at the workshop, Sosnowski built on international collaborative links and progressed research activities with Canada and Europe. He was an invited keynote speaker at the 11th IWGTD “Industry Day” presenting a summary on managing GTDs in the vineyard. Following the workshop, he visited Dr José Ramon Úrbez Torres (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), who convened the 11th IWGTD and leads a GTD research program based at the Summerland Research and Development Centre in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, to discuss collaborative research. Research highlights from the workshop included; non-destructive detection methods, inoculum dispersal patterns from diverse environments, interaction between pathogens and disease severity, xylem morphology and disease susceptibility, biocontrols with promise for management in the nursery, success of preventative and curative management in vineyards and profitability of early intervention and regular management of GTDs. Recommendations for future research in Australia include; continuing the search for alternative natural compounds and biocontrols for wound protection, better understanding the risk of wound infection at all times of the year, elucidating relationships between spore dispersal and climatic variables, developing spore trapping techniques with a view towards real time monitoring in the future, investigating the interaction between pathogens in grapevine trunks and their impact on disease progress and severity, continuing research to better understand infection thresholds in propagation material and monitor the micriobiome of nursery material to assist with development of quality assurance systems

Summary

Dr Mark Sosnowski, South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), was co-funded by Wine Australia (WA) to attend the 11th International Workshop on Grapevine Trunk Diseases (IWGTD) in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada, 7-12 July 2019. Dr Sosnowski, who leads a grapevine trunk disease (GTD) management program at SARDI, and project team member Dr Regina Billones Baaijens of the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) presented research results from project SAR1701-1.1 “Grapevine trunk disease management for vineyard longevity in diverse climates of Australia”. The objectives of the travel were to; i) obtain the latest results of research into grapevine trunk diseases from around the world, and apply it to benefit the Australian wine industry, ii) disseminate new knowledge from Wine Australia grapevine trunk disease research to international trunk disease research industry members, iii) continue to develop and maintain professional relationships with international experts to promote collaboration with Australian research, and iv) attend the biennial meeting of the ICGTD and undertake official duties at the IWGTD as a science committee member.

The 11th IWGTD attracted 146 delegates from 21 countries. One hundred and twelve abstracts on current research on GTDs were delivered in oral presentations and posters. The workshop was divided into four sessions; (i) Pathogen detection and identification, (ii) Epidemiology, (iii) Host-pathogen interactions and (iv) Disease management in the nursery and vineyard.

Research highlights of particular relevance to the Australian grape and wine industry included;

  • A variety of non-destructive GTD detection methods are being developed
  • Varying inoculum dispersal patterns are emerging from climatically diverse environments, with rainfall appearing not to be the limiting factor for spore release.
  • Co-infection of grapevine with multiple pathogen combinations affect GTD disease severity
  • Xylem morphological traits correlate with disease susceptibility
  • A number of biocontrols are showing promise for the management of GTDs in the nursery
  • There are positive reports on the success of preventative and curative management strategies for GTDs in commercial vineyards
  • Pruning management influences development of disease symptoms
  • Early intervention and regular management of GTDs will maximise longevity and profitability of vineyards

Following the workshop, Sosnowski visited with Dr José Ramon Úrbez Torres (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) who convened the 11th IWGTD and leads a GTD research program at the Summerland Research Centre in the Okanagan Valley, BC. They discussed collaborative research between SARDI and Agri-Food Canada focusing on understanding infection thresholds in grapevine planting material, inoculum surveillance and disease control in mature vines. The outcomes of the collaborative research will assist in maintaining high standard nursery material for the industry, enhance research for monitoring risk of infection and improve strategies for managing grapevine trunk disease in mature grapevines.

Recommendations for future Australian research are to;

  • continue the search for alternative natural compounds or biocontrols for wound protection
  • better understand the risk of wound infection at all times of the year
  • elucidate the complex relationships between spore dispersal and climate variables
  • continue developing spore trapping techniques with a view towards real time monitoring in the future
  • investigate the interaction between pathogens in grapevine trunks and their impact on disease progress and severity
  • continue research on infection thresholds in propagation material and monitor the micriobiome of nursery material to assist with development of quality assurance systems
  • continue the evaluation of rootstock and scion material in the search for tolerance to trunk disease.

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