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Black Rot Eradication Trial

Mark Sosnowski

Dr Mark Sosnowski was supported by the Cooperative Research Centre for National Plant Biosecurity and South Australian Research and Development Institution, primarily to conduct a research trial in the USA in collaboration with researchers at Cornell University, New York Agricultural Experiment Station. As part of the project CRC40139 Developing Eradication Strategies the objectives of the travel were to prepare for and conduct a simulated eradication of black rot disease, caused by the fungus Guignardia bidwellii.


During the simulation, vines were selectively removed from a block to leave two-vine plots which were either drastically pruned to eradicate the black rot or pruned normally as controls. The ground beneath vines was raked to remove the majority of any infected debris and then lucerne hay was laid down as mulch to prevent spores from any remaining infecting new foliage.


Control and treatment vines will be monitored for symptoms of black rot and Dr Sosnowski will revisit Cornell University in August 2009 with funding from a scholarship provided by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to train in and document a formal protocol for the diagnosis of black rot. He will also take the opportunity to assess the eradication trial for any symptoms of black rot.


In addition to the eradication trial, arrangements have been set in place to allow for a supervised summer student to conduct an experiment to monitor movement of ascospores in the vineyard block. Sentinel vines (cv. Chardonnay) in pots will be placed within and around the trial site in a rotation during spring to detect any cross-contamination between treatments or external infection.


It is intended that the trial will continue on for a second season in 2010. Continued management and monitoring for symptoms along with reapplying the eradication treatment will also be done if necessary.

Photo caption: Stem lesions


Top photo caption: Mark Sosnowski and the team remove drastically pruned materials from the treated vines.


When: May 2009
Location: New York, USA
Dr Mark Sosnowski recently travelled to the USA to prepare for and conduct a simulated eradication of black rot disease.