Macro- and microscopic leaf characteristics of six grapevine genotypes (<i>Vitis</i> spp.) with different susceptibilities to grapevine downy mildew


  • S. Boso
  • V. Alonso-Villaverde
  • J. L. Santiago
  • P. Gago
  • M. Dürrenberger
  • M. Düggelin



Vitis vinifera L., leaf morphology, spongy mesophyll cells, susceptibility, grapevine downy mildew


This work reports the leaf morphology of six grapevine genotypes, five belonging to Vitis vinifera and one to Vitis riparia. Earlier studies on these genotypes showed different levels of susceptibility to grapevine downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola). The aim of this work was to detect differences between the leaf morphology of these cultivars at the macro- and microscopic levels, and to characterize morphological traits which could be associated with susceptibility and resistance to downy mildew. An ampelographic description of each genotype was used to develop a scheme illustrating the characteristic leaf morphology. The density and morphology of the trichomes and the stomatal index was assessed by means of microscopical techniques. Distinct macro and microscope differences among the genotypes were seen. No clear relation between ampelographic characteristics and susceptibility to downy mildew was observed. The two cultivars that in earlier studies were found to be the least susceptible to downy mildew were the most similar in terms of their spongy mesophyll. Both showed very little or no wax on the abaxial surface of their leaves.