Combining sanitation and disease modelling for control of grapevine powdery mildew
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Chasmothecia of Erysiphe necator form in one season, survive winter and discharge ascospores that cause primary infections and trigger powdery mildew epidemics in the next season. A strategy for powdery mildew control was developed based on (i) the reduction in overwintering chasmothecia and on (ii) spring fungicide applications to control ascosporic infections timed based on estimate risk (two to five sprays per season). Several fungicides, the hyperparasite Ampelomyces quisqualis, and a mineral oil product were first tested as separate applications in a greenhouse and in vineyards. In the greenhouse, A. quisqualis suppressed chasmothecia formation by 41 %; fungicides and mineral oil suppressed chasmothecia formation by 63 % and ascospore viability by 71 %. In vineyards, application of boscalid + kresoxim-methyl or meptyldinocap once after harvest, as well as application of A. quisqualis pre- and post-harvest, delayed disease onset and epidemic development in the following season by 1 to 3 weeks and lowered disease severity (up to the pea-sized berry stage) by 56 to 63 %. Risk-based applications of sulphur and of synthetic fungicides provided the same control as the grower spray program but required fewer applications (average reduction of 47 %). Sanitation strategies were then tested by combining products and application times (late-season, and/or pre-bud break, and/or spring). Adequate disease control with a reduced number of sprays was achieved with the following combination: two applications of A. quisqualis (pre- and post-harvest), one application of mineral oil before bud break, and model-based applications of sulphur fungicides between bud break and fruit set.
KeywordsOverwintering Chasmothecia Ascosporic infection Fungicide scheduling Biocontrol
This research was funded by the Emilia-Romagna Region and the following companies: Intrachem Bio Italia, Basf, Makhteshim Agan Italia, Dow AgroSciences, Cerexagri, Bayer CropScience, and Isagro Italia. The authors thank G. Pradolesi and M. Scannavini for the management of the vineyards. S.E. Legler carried out this work within the Doctoral School on the Agro-Food System (Agrisystem) of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy).
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