Seminar: Ecology and Epidemiology of Grapevine Red Blotch Disease: An Epidemic in the Napa Valley

Elizabeth Cieniewicz, Ph.D. student, Cornell University
Image: Elizabeth Cieniewicz, Cornell University

Image: Elizabeth Cieniewicz, Cornell University

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March 20, 2017, 3:35 PM - 4:30 PM

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Grapevine red blotch-associated virus (GRBaV), the causative agent of red blotch disease, is a member of the family Geminiviridae and the first known geminivirus of Vitis spp. GRBaV has a single stranded, circular DNA genome (3,206 nt). Limited information is available on the epidemiology of red blotch disease. Although GRBaV is known to be graft-transmissible, of major concern to the grape industry is whether vector-borne spread is occurring in vineyards. Evidence of insect-borne spread is apparent in the western United States. Understanding spread of GRBaV requires a multi-pronged approach, including modeling the spatial and temporal attributes of red blotch epidemics, understanding the role of insect vectors, determining the host range, and understanding the mode of transmission. We described a red blotch disease epidemic over three years in a vineyard in California and conducted a survey of hemipteran insects. The pattern of spread observed in this study strengthens management recommendations to rogue and replace under low disease incidence, and replant vineyards under high disease incidence. This survey also provides the first evidence of vector-mediated spread in vineyards. A more comprehensive understanding of red blotch epidemiology is critical for optimal disease management strategies. [Elizabeth Cieniewicz and Marc Fuchs]

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