Australasian Plant Pathology

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 20–27 | Cite as

Evaluation of ‘alternative’ materials to sulfur and synthetic fungicides for control of grapevine powdery mildew in a warm climate region of Australia



The efficacy of ‘alternative’ materials against powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator) was evaluated on Vitis vinifera cvs Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in a warm climate region of New South Wales, Australia. In the first season, sulfur, milk, whey, potassium bicarbonate (Ecocarb) and a mixture of potassium bicarbonate and botanical oils (Synertrol Horti Oil) alternated with whey reduced the severity of powdery mildew on Chardonnay bunches at harvest compared with untreated vines, however only sulfur provided commercially acceptable fruit at harvest with a mean disease severity of 4.2%. In the second season, none of the treatments, including sulfur, provided commercially acceptable control of powdery mildew on Chardonnay. The mean severities of powdery mildew on Cabernet Sauvignon were relatively low, with all treatments providing comparable control to sulfur in the second season. In the third season, spray programs incorporating the ‘alternative’ materials and sulfur were evaluated on Chardonnay by targeting specific phenological stages of grapevine growth. Programs that included sulfur from bud burst to flowering provided better disease control than those that included a mixture of potassium bicarbonate and botanical oils applied at the same stages. This highlights the importance of effective early season control of this disease on susceptible cultivars such as Chardonnay. Analysis of berry weight, pH, total soluble solids and titratable acidity of juices revealed no negative impact of the treatments.


Organic viticulture Soft fungicides 


  1. Anonymous (2002) Spray drift management: principles strategies and supporting information. Primary Industries Standing Committee. CSIRO, VictoriaGoogle Scholar
  2. Australian Bureau of Meteorology (2009) Accessed 19 February 2010
  3. Bettiol W, Silva HSA, Reis RC (2008) Effectiveness of whey against zucchini squash and cucumber powdery mildew. Sci Hortic 117:82–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Calonnec A, Cartolaro P, Poupot C, Dubourdieu D, Darriet P (2004) Effects of Uncinula necator on the yield and quality of grapes (Vitis vinifera) and wine. Plant Pathol 53:434–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chellemi DO, Marois JJ (1992) Influence of leaf removal, fungicide applications, and fruit maturity on incidence and severity of grape powdery mildew. Am J Enol Vitic 43:53–57Google Scholar
  6. Coombe BG (1995) Adoption of a system for identifying grapevine growth stages. Aust J Grape Wine Res 1:100–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cortesi P, Gadoury DM, Seem RC, Pearson RC (1995) Distribution and retention of cleistothecia of Uncinula necator on the bark of grapevines. Plant Dis 79:15–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Crisp P, Wicks TJ, Lorimer M, Scott ES (2006a) An evaluation of biological and abiotic controls for grapevine powdery mildew. 1. Greenhouse studies. Aust J Grape Wine Res 12:192–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Crisp P, Wicks TJ, Bruer D, Scott ES (2006b) An evaluation of biological and abiotic controls for grapevine powdery mildew. 2. Vineyard trials. Aust J Grape Wine Res 12:203–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Crisp P, Wicks TJ, Troup G, Scott ES (2006c) Mode of action of milk and whey in the control of grapevine powdery mildew. Australas Plant Pathol 35:487–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Crisp P, Evans K, Savocchia S, Grbin P, Wicks T, Scott ES (2008) Reducing inputs of sulfur and synthetic fungicide in Australian vineyards. In: Blair RJ, Williams PJ, Pretorius IS (eds) Proceedings of the 13th Australian Wine Industry Technical ConferenceGoogle Scholar
  12. Doster MA, Schnathorst WC (1985) Comparative susceptibility of various grapevine cultivars to the powdery mildew fungus Uncinula necator. Am J Enol Vitic 36:101–104Google Scholar
  13. Ferrandino FJ, Smith VL (2007) The effect of milk-based foliar sprays on yield components of field pumpkins with powdery mildew. Crop Prot 26:657–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ficke A, Gadoury DM, Seem RC (2002) Ontogenic resistance and plant disease management: a case study of grape powdery mildew. Phytopathology 92:671–675CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Gadoury DM, Seem RC, Wilcox WF, Henick-Kling T, Conterno L, Day A, Ficke A (2007) Effects of diffuse colonization of grape berries by Uncinula necator on bunch rots, berry microflora, and juice and wine quality. Phytopathology 97:1356–1365CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Gee LM, Stummer BE, Gadoury DM, Biggins LT, Scott ES (2000) Maturation of cleistothecia of Uncinula necator (powdery mildew) and release of ascospores in southern Australia. Aust J Grape Wine Res 6:13–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Glenn DM, van der Zwet T, Puterka G, Gundrum P, Brown E (2001) Efficacy of kaolin-based particle films to control apple diseases. Online. Plant Health Progress. doi:10.1094/PHP-2001-0823-01-RS Google Scholar
  18. Iland P, Ewart A, Sitters J, Markides AJ, Bruer N (2000) Techniques for chemical analysis and quality monitoring during winemaking. Patrick Iland Wine Promotions, CampbelltownGoogle Scholar
  19. McGrath MT, Shishkoff N (1999) Evaluation of biocompatible products for managing cucurbit powdery mildew. Crop Prot 18:471–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pearson RC, Gärtel W (1985) Occurrence of hyphae of Uncinula necator in buds of grapevine. Plant Dis 69:149–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Prischmann AP, James DG, Wright LC, Teneyck RD, Snyder WE (2005) Effects of chlorpyrifos and sulphur on spider mites (Acari: Tetranychidae) and their natural enemies. Biol Control 33:324–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sall MA, Wrysinski J (1982) Perennation of powdery mildew in buds of grapevines. Plant Dis 66:678–679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Stummer BE, Francis LI, Markides AJ, Scott ES (2003) The effect of powdery mildew infection of grape berries on juice and wine composition and on sensory properties of Chardonnay wines. Aust J Grape Wine Res 9:28–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Viti-Notes (2005) Grape purity 1. Diseases—powdery mildew, downy mildew, Botrytis and other moulds and rots,
  25. Wicks TJ, Magarey P (1985) First report of Uncinula necator cleistothecia on grapevines in Australia. Plant Dis 69:727Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Australasian Plant Pathology Society Inc. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Savocchia
    • 1
  • R. Mandel
    • 1
    • 3
  • P. Crisp
    • 2
  • E. S. Scott
    • 2
  1. 1.National Wine and Grape Industry CentreCharles Sturt UniversityWagga WaggaAustralia
  2. 2.School of Agriculture, Food and WineThe University of AdelaideGlen OsmondAustralia
  3. 3.School of Agriculture and EnvironmentCurtin University of TechnologyNorthamAustralia

Personalised recommendations