Researchers discover how grapevine red blotch virus harms the vine

Feb 27, 2019

(WB) - Grapevine red blotch virus harms the vines by inhibiting photosynthesis in the leaves, UC Davis researchers said this month in an article published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

The researchers also found that infected wine grape vines cannot conduct water effectively; as a result, sugars created by photosynthesis are left on the leaves. The fruit eventually accumulates less sugar and produce low-quality wines.

“We have finally figured out what it does,” said Kaan Kurtural, UC cooperation extension specialist and one of the paper’s authors, as he referred to the grapevine red blotch virus. 

Researchers now can focus on how management solutions to manage the disease and find solutions, said Kurtural, who supervises research at Oakville Station in the Napa Valley, where the research was conducted.
“There are some treatments that are being offered to growers, but now that we better understand the disease, we know they won’t help,” Kurtural said in a written statement from UC Agricultural and Natural Resources. “Growers don’t have to replace the infected vineyards immediately. But if 40 percent of vines are infected, they may want to consider replanting. At least now we know what the disease does, so they won’t pay for snake oils.”

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