Aureobasidium isolated from Vitis vinifera (cv Chardonnay) grapevine tissues were characterised using morphological and molecular techniques. Species level identification of 29 isolates was accomplished by partial amplification and sequencing of the ITS region (ITS1–5.8S–ITS2) using universal primers ITS1 and ITS4. A comparison of nucleotide sequences using BLAST followed by phylogenetic analysis revealed that all isolates examined were Aureobasidium pullulans. Strain level discrimination of a total of 100 epiphytic Aureobasidium isolates including three reference strains was successfully carried out using two inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) primers, (AAC)5 and (GTG)5 and the Intron Splice Junction R1 (ISJ-R1) primer in which 24, 24 and 15 scorable bands were produced for each primer, respectively. The high level of genetic variation recorded among the isolates further highlighted the high levels of strain diversity among A. pullulans residing on grapevines. Thirty-two epiphytic Aureobasidium isolates were examined for their ability to inhibit the growth of Greeneria uvicola, responsible for bitter rot of grapes. Using an in-vitro dual-culture antagonism assay, all isolates inhibited the growth of G. uvicola (Isolates DAR 77272 and DAR 77273) with inhibition ranging from 15 to 85%. Three Aureobasidium isolates were then examined for their ability to inhibit G. uvicola when co-inoculated onto detached berries, leaves and grape bunches growing on potted vines in a glass house. All isolates reduced the severity of bitter rot infection. The results indicate that A. pullulans has the potential to suppress bitter rot of grapes.
Rathnayake, R. M. S. P., Savocchia, S., Schmidtke, L. M., & Steel, C. C. (2018). Characterisation of Aureobasidium pullulans isolates from Vitis vinifera and potential biocontrol activity for the management of bitter rot of grapes. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 151(3), 593-611. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10658-017-1397-0