Overwintering and presence of <i>Colletotrichum acutatum</i> (ripe rot) on mummified bunches, dormant wood, developing tissues and mature berries of <i>Vitis vinifera</i>
Colletotrichum acutatum, the casual agent of ripe rot in tropical and sub-tropical grape growing regions of Australia, affects crop yield and wine quality. To elucidate the epidemiology of the fungus, its presence was studied on shoots, pea sized and mature berries, mummified bunches, spurs and canes during two consecutive growing seasons and one winter season. The presence of C. acutatum was analysed by both traditional and real-time PCR methods. A protocol was developed to achieve PCR amplification for fungal DNA extracted from 'difficult' wood samples. C. acutatum was detected on mature berries, mummified berries, the peduncles of mummified berries, winter spurs and canes but not on the remaining analysed tissues. Thus the fungus overwinters on Vitis vinifera plant tissues and the conidia on spurs and dormant wood are likely to be the most important source of primary inoculum for the next growing season.
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