Armillaria Species Infesting Vineyards in Northwestern Spain
Twelve vineyards in northwestern Spain were studied to assess the incidence of white root rot during 1995 and 1997. In both years, diseased plant material was collected and the Armillaria species responsible was identified on the basis of compatibility testing. Subsequently, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the intergenic spacer region of the nuclear ribosomal RNA gene cluster was used to identify Armillaria species in another 45 symptomatic samples submitted for diagnosis from this area. During 1995, 9 of the 12 vineyards showed white root rot, although in eight cases less than 2% of plants were affected; in the remaining vineyard 17% of plants were diseased. During 1997, 10 of the 12 vineyards were affected and three showed a marked increase in the number of plants with white root rot (to 43%, in the vineyard in which 17% were affected in 1995). The compatibility method detected Armillaria mellea in samples from 10 of the 12 vineyards, and Armillaria gallica in samples from two vineyards. RFLP–PCR analysis detected four restriction patterns corresponding to A. mellea, A. gallica and Armillaria cepistipes: patterns mel 1 (A. mellea, 71% of samples), mel 2 (A. mellea, 18%), gal 1 (A. gallica, 9%), and cep 1 (A. cepistipes, 2%, i.e. a single sample). This is the first report of A. gallica and A. cepistipes infecting Vitis spp. The presence of these two Armillaria species may be related to the fact that the vineyards from which they were isolated were located on cleared forestry sites.