Grapevine recovery from flavescence dorée: epidemiological and qualitative aspects to develop an integrated and sustainable disease management in Piemonte
The project aims to evaluate in field the recovery from Flavescence dorée (FD), phytoplasma disease of grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) with heavy economic impacts on Piemonte viticulture. Quality wine production and epidemiological issues will be considered. Recovery is a natural phenomenon widespread in different grapevine cultuvars infected by phytoplasma. In the project Barbera and Chardonnay cultivars will be studied in productive vineyards in Cocconato d’Asti. Groups of healthy (always symptomless) and recovered plants (symptomless and negative for FD presence, but infected in one of the previous years) will be identified by molecular analysis. Maturation curves and microvinification trials followed by wine quality and sensory analysis will be performed on the grapes obtained by healthy and recovered plants of the 2 cv, in order to evaluate the differences in performance on berry and wine quality. The epidemiological aspects, will determine if the FD recovered grapevines can still be a source of phytoplasma inoculum. This project will obtain information on the quality of grapes and wine produced from recovered grapevines by FD compared with corresponding healthy plants of Barbera and Chardonnay, two varieties of greater importance in Piemonte wine production, and determine whether the recovery strategy can be considered safe from the epidemiological point of view and therefore represents a better option, alternative to uprooting and replanting. Recovery from FD is a natural resource useful for disease management, complementary with targeted insecticide treatments and therefore compatible with a sustainable agriculture.