Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 87, Issue 4, pp 671–679 | Cite as

Acquisition capability of the grapevine Flavescence dorée by the leafhopper vector Scaphoideus titanus Ball correlates with phytoplasma titre in the source plant

  • Luciana GalettoEmail author
  • Dimitrios Miliordos
  • Chiara Roggia
  • Mahnaz Rashidi
  • Dario Sacco
  • Cristina Marzachì
  • Domenico Bosco
Original Paper


Flavescence dorée (FD) is one of the most economically important grapevine diseases in Southern Europe, and it is associated with phytoplasmas, phloem-limited wall-less bacteria. Recovery from disease naturally occurs in infected grapevines during the following seasons after infection. The capability of the leafhopper vector Scaphoideus titanus to acquire FD phytoplasma (FDP) from recovered and infected grapevines of Barbera and Nebbiolo varieties was investigated in North-western Italy vineyards monitored from 2007 to 2011. Pathogen concentration was quantified by real-time PCR in FDP-infected grapevines and broad beans, also used as source plants under controlled conditions, to correlate acquisition capabilities and phytoplasma titre in source plants. S. titanus acquired FDP from infected, but not from recovered, grapevines. FDP titre was higher in Barbera than in Nebbiolo and higher in summer than in spring, and acquisition efficiency and pathogen titre in source plants were positively correlated, both in field and laboratory conditions. Recovered plants do not represent a source of inoculum for the vector and therefore do not contribute to FDP spread. The inability of recovered plants to serve as FDP acquisition sources for the vector as well as the effect of the season and of the two grapevine varieties on the FDP acquisition efficiency are relevant results to re-design disease management practices, especially since insecticide treatments against the vector are not fully effective, and newly designed successful control strategies are required.


Vitis vinifera FD Recovery Barbera Nebbiolo 



This research is funded by the Piemonte Region with the projects: ‘Adoption of a multidisciplinary approach to study the grapevine agroecosystem: analysis of biotic and abiotic factors able to influence yield and quality’, ‘Studi su fitoplasmi della vite e loro vettori: sensibilità varietale e efficienza di acquisizione di Flavescenza dorata, caratterizzazione, diffusione e vettori di Legno nero, tecniche di riduzione del danno’. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luciana Galetto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dimitrios Miliordos
    • 2
  • Chiara Roggia
    • 2
  • Mahnaz Rashidi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dario Sacco
    • 2
  • Cristina Marzachì
    • 1
  • Domenico Bosco
    • 2
  1. 1.Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante CNRTurinItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali e Agroalimentari (DISAFA)Università degli Studi di TorinoGrugliasco (TO)Italy

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