Molecular detection and identification of Diatrypaceous airborne spores in Australian vineyards revealed high species diversity between regions: Molecular detection of Diatrypaceous spores in vineyards

Regina Billones-Baaijens, Meifang Liu, Mark R. Sosnowski, Matthew R. Ayres, Sandra Savocchia

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Abstract

The grapevine trunk disease, Eutypa dieback (ED), causes significant vine decline and yield reduction. For many years, the fungus Eutypa lata was considered the main pathogen causing ED of grapevines in Australia. Recent studies showed other Diatrypaceous fungi were also associated with vines exhibiting dieback symptoms but there is limited information on how these fungal pathogens spread in vineyards. Thus, information on the spore dispersal patterns of Diatrypaceous fungi in different wine regions will assist in identifying high-risk infection periods in vineyards. Using more than 6800 DNA samples from airborne spores collected from eight wine regions in south-eastern Australia over 8 years using a Burkard spore trap, this study investigated the diversity and abundance of Diatrypaceous species, using multi-faceted molecular tools. A multi-target quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay successfully detected and quantified Diatrypaceous spores from 30% of the total samples with spore numbers and frequency of detection varying between regions and years. The high-resolution melting analysis (HRMA) coupled with DNA sequencing identified seven species, with Elata being present in seven regions and the most prevalent species in the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. Cryptovalsa ampelina and Diatrype stigma were the predominant species in the Clare Valley and Coonawarra, respectively while Eutypella citricola and Eumicrotheca dominated in the Hunter Valley and the Riverina regions. This study represents the first report of Dstigma and Cryptosphaeria multicontinentalis in Australian vineyards. This study further showed rainfall as a primary factor that triggers spore release, however, other weather factors that may influence the spore release in different climatic regions of Australia still requires further investigation.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0286738
Number of pages30
JournalPLoS One
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

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