UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Does Inoculation with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Reduce Trunk Disease in Grapevine Rootstocks? Holland, Taylor; Bowen, Patricia; Kokkoris, Vasilis; Urbez-Torres, Jose Ramon; Hart, Miranda


Ilyonectria is a weak pathogen known for causing black foot disease in young vines, infecting roots and vascular tissues at the basal end of the rootstock and restricting the movement of water and nutrients. This negatively impacts vine establishment during transplant into the vineyard. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are symbiotic fungi that associate with most plants and have been shown to mitigate the infection and effect of pathogens. This greenhouse study was designed to determine if the mycorrhizal fungi could mitigate Ilyonectria infection and whether this was dependent on inoculation timing. ‘Riparia gloire’ grapevine rootstocks (Vitis riparia) were infected with Ilyonectria either after AM fungi, at the same time as AM fungi, or to roots that were not inoculated by AM fungi. We measured the abundance using specific markers for both the pathogen and AM fungi. Colonization by AM fungi did not suppress Ilyonectria, but instead increased the abundance of Ilyonectria. Further, mycorrhizal rootstocks did not have enhanced growth effects on physiological parameters when compared to non-mycorrhizal rootstocks. These findings stand in contrast to the general perception that AM fungi provide protection against root pathogens.

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