IMPROVING GRAPE ROOTSTOCK AND SCION PEST AND DISEASE RESISTANCE
Location: Grape Genetics Research
Title: Grapevine powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator): a fascinating system for the study of the biology, ecology, and epidemiology of an obligate biotroph
Submitted to: Molecular Plant Pathology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: February 3, 2011
Publication Date: January 15, 2012
Citation: Gadoury, D., Cadle Davidson, L.E., Wilcox, W., Dry, I., Seem, R., Milgroom, M. 2012. Grapevine powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator): a fascinating system for the study of the biology, ecology, and epidemiology of an obligate biotroph. Molecular Plant Pathology. 13:1-16.
Few plant pathogens have had a more profound effect upon the evolution of disease management than Erysiphe necator, which causes grapevine powdery mildew. When the pathogen first spread from North America to England in 1845, and onward to France in 1847, “germ theory” was neither understood among the general populace nor even generally accepted within the scientific community. Louis Pasteur had only recently reported the microbial nature of fermentation, and it would be another 30 years before Robert Koch would publish his proofs of the microbial nature of certain animal diseases. However, within six years after the arrival of the pathogen, nearly 6 million grape growers in France were routinely applying of sulfur to suppress powdery mildew on nearly 2.5 million hectares of vineyards (Campbell 2006). The pathogen has remained a focus for disease management efforts ever since. Because of the worldwide importance of the crop and its susceptibility to the disease, and because conventional management with modern, organic fungicides has been compromised on several occasions since 1980 by the evolution of fungicide resistance, there has also been a renewed effort worldwide to explore the pathogen’s biology and ecology, its genetics and molecular interactions with host plants, and to refine current and suggest new management strategies. These later aspects are the subject of our review.