The Ecology of Agrobacterium vitis and Management of Crown Gall Disease in Vineyards

  • Nemanja KuzmanovićEmail author
  • Joanna Puławska
  • Lingyun Hao
  • Thomas J. Burr
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 418)


Agrobacterium vitis is the primary causal agent of grapevine crown gall worldwide. Symptoms of grapevine crown gall disease include tumor formation on the aerial plant parts, whereas both tumorigenic and nontumorigenic strains of A. vitis cause root necrosis. Genetic and genomic analyses indicated that A. vitis is distinguishable from the members of the Agrobacterium genus and its transfer to the genus Allorhizobium was suggested. A. vitis is genetically diverse, with respect to both chromosomal and plasmid DNA. Its pathogenicity is mainly determined by a large conjugal tumor-inducing (Ti) plasmid characterized by a mosaic structure with conserved and variable regions. Traditionally, A. vitis Ti plasmids and host strains were differentiated into octopine/cucumopine, nopaline, and vitopine groups, based on opine markers. However, tumorigenic and nontumorigenic strains of A. vitis may carry other ecologically important plasmids, such as tartrate- and opine-catabolic plasmids. A. vitis colonizes vines endophytically. It is also able to survive epiphytically on grapevine plants and is detected in soil exclusively in association with grapevine plants. Because A. vitis persists systemically in symptomless grapevine plants, it can be efficiently disseminated to distant geographical areas via international trade of propagation material. The use of healthy planting material in areas with no history of the crown gall represents the crucial measure of disease management. Moreover, biological control and production of resistant grape varieties are encouraging as future control measures.



The research of T. J. Burr presented in this paper was partially funded by USDA Federal Capacity Fund grants, USDA-APHIS National Clean Plant Network, and by the New York Wine and Grape Foundation. N. Kuzmanović was supported by the Georg Forster Fellowship for postdoctoral researchers from the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation, Bonn, Germany. We kindly thank Dr. Ernő Szegedi for his critical reading of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nemanja Kuzmanović
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joanna Puławska
    • 2
  • Lingyun Hao
    • 3
  • Thomas J. Burr
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Epidemiology and Pathogen DiagnosticsJulius Kühn-Institut, Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants (JKI)BraunschweigGermany
  2. 2.Research Institute of HorticultureSkierniewicePoland
  3. 3.College of Life Sciences and OceanographyShenzhen UniversityShenzhenPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.School of Integrative Plant Sciences, Section of Pathology and Plant-Microbe BiologyCornell UniversityGenevaUSA

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