European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 125, Issue 2, pp 291–302

Pre-symptomatic detection of Plasmopara viticola infection in grapevine leaves using chlorophyll fluorescence imaging

  • Ladislav Cséfalvay
  • Gabriele Di Gaspero
  • Karel Matouš
  • Diana Bellin
  • Benedetto Ruperti
  • Julie Olejníčková

DOI: 10.1007/s10658-009-9482-7

Cite this article as:
Cséfalvay, L., Di Gaspero, G., Matouš, K. et al. Eur J Plant Pathol (2009) 125: 291. doi:10.1007/s10658-009-9482-7


Plasmopara viticola is an economically important pathogen of grapevine. Early detection of P. viticola infection can lead to improved fungicide treatment. Our study aimed to determine whether chlorophyll fluorescence (Chl-F) imaging can be used to reveal early stages of P. viticola infection under conditions similar to those occurring in commercial vineyards. Maximum (FV/FM) and effective quantum yield of photosystem II (ΦPSII) were identified as the most sensitive reporters of the infection. Heterogeneous distribution of FV/FM and ΦPSII in artificially inoculated leaves was associated with the presence of the developing mycelium 3 days before the occurrence of visible symptoms and 5 days before the release of spores. Significant changes of FV/FM and ΦPSII were spatially coincident with localised spots of inoculation across the leaf lamina. Reduction of FV/FM was restricted to the leaf area that later yielded sporulation, while the area with significantly lower ΦPSII was larger and probably reflected the leaf parts in which photosynthesis was impaired. Our results indicate that Chl-F can be used for the early detection of P. viticola infection. Because P. viticola does not expand systemically in the host tissues and the effects of infection are localised, Chl-F imaging at high resolution is necessary to reveal the disease in the field.


Biotic stressCombinatorial imagingFungal infectionMildew diseasePest managementVitis vinifera



charged coupled device


chlorophyll fluorescence


combinatorial imaging


days post-inoculation


minimum chlorophyll fluorescence yield in dark-adapted state


maximum chlorophyll fluorescence yield in dark-adapted state

FM1` FM2`, FM3`, FM4

maximum chlorophyll fluorescence yield in light-adapted state measured in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th saturating pulse


variable chlorophyll fluorescence yield in dark-adapted state


maximum chlorophyll fluorescence yield measured when the actinic light is switched on


steady-state chlorophyll fluorescence yield in light-adapted state


actual chlorophyll fluorescence yield at a particular time


maximum quantum yield of photosystem II photochemistry


effective quantum yield of photosystem II photochemistry


high light


infected area


Light Emitting Diode


low light


mesophyll-invaded area


non-infected area


photosystem II


non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence

Copyright information

© KNPV 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ladislav Cséfalvay
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gabriele Di Gaspero
    • 3
    • 4
  • Karel Matouš
    • 1
    • 2
  • Diana Bellin
    • 3
  • Benedetto Ruperti
    • 3
    • 5
  • Julie Olejníčková
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Physiology and Ecology, Department of Biological Dynamics, Institute of Systems Biology and EcologyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicNové HradyCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Systems Biology, Institute of Physical BiologyUniversity of South BohemiaNové HradyCzech Republic
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e AmbientaliUniversity of UdineUdineItaly
  4. 4.Istituto di Genomica ApplicataParco Scientifico e Tecnologico Luigi DanieliUdineItaly
  5. 5.Dipartimento di Agronomia Ambientale e Produzioni VegetaliUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly