Gas Exchange, Stem Water Potential and Xylem Flux on Some Grapevine Cultivars Affected by Esca Disease

  • L. Andreini Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento, Via S. Cecilia, 3 – 56127 Pisa
  • G. Caruso Dipartimento di Coltivazione e Difesa delle Specie Legnose “G. Scaramuzzi”, Università di Pisa, Via del Borghetto, 80 – 56126 Pisa
  • C. Bertolla Dipartimento di Coltivazione e Difesa delle Specie Legnose “G. Scaramuzzi”, Università di Pisa, Via del Borghetto, 80 – 56126 Pisa
  • G. Scalabrelli Dipartimento di Coltivazione e Difesa delle Specie Legnose “G. Scaramuzzi”, Università di Pisa, Via del Borghetto, 80 – 56126 Pisa
  • R. Viti Dipartimento di Coltivazione e Difesa delle Specie Legnose “G. Scaramuzzi”, Università di Pisa, Via del Borghetto, 80 – 56126 Pisa
  • R. Gucci Dipartimento di Coltivazione e Difesa delle Specie Legnose “G. Scaramuzzi”, Università di Pisa, Via del Borghetto, 80 – 56126 Pisa

Abstract

The effect of esca disease on gas exchange, stem water potential and xylem flux of adult grapevines of Cabernet
Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Trebbiano cultivars was studied over three growing seasons. Water relations were
measured at véraison and cluster ripening on three types of vines: i) healthy (control); ii) symptomatic and iii)
apparently healthy in the year of measurements but that had showed esca symptoms in the previous season. Xylem
flux was determined on cane segments by perfusion using a tracing dye before and after the appearance of esca
symptoms. Esca induced a marked reduction (about 70%) in carbon assimilation and stomatal conductance,
especially in Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. Esca did not affect the stem water potential. Gas exchange
parameters measured before the symptoms appeared in plants affected by esca were similar to those of healthy
plants. Measurements made one month before the appearance of the symptoms cannot be used as screening method
to determine whether the vine will show esca. No differences in dye translocation were found before the symptoms’
appearance. However, a decrease in xylem flux was measured in symptomatic vines of Cabernet Sauvignon. After
the appearance of esca symptoms, only the Trebbiano had a lower xylem flux than the healthy vines.
Published
2016-12-12
Section
Articles