Grapevine anthracnose, caused by the ascomycete Elsinoë ampelina (de Bary) Shear (Shear, 1929), is one of the major diseases in humid regions. The disease is of European origin (Mirica, 1994; Shear, 1929) but has spread worldwide (Magarey et al., 1993; Mirica, 1994). In Japan, fungicides are applied six to eight times from April to June to control diseases, including anthracnose. To lessen the risk of the damage to the crop and to reduce the application of fungicide, cultivars resistant to this disease are indispensable.
Anthracnose resistance of grapevine cultivars has been reported (Fennell, 1948; Kawakami, 1932; Mortensen, 1981; Winkler, 1962; Yun et al., 2006), and it is consistent in these literatures that V. labrusca and some of its hybrids with V. vinifera, released mostly in the United States, confer some resistance to the disease. These hybrid cultivars have long been produced in Japan since their introduction at the end of the 19th century because of their disease resistance and tolerance to berry cracking. Tetraploid hybrid cultivars have been developed, and their production is now increasing with the aid of the innovative application of plant growth regulators such as gibberellic acid to young clusters and berries to induce seedlessness and berry enlargement.
V. vinifera cultivars have usually been rated as susceptible to anthracnose; however, some are indicated to confer some resistance (Fennell, 1948; Kawakami, 1932; Winkler, 1962). Fennell (1948) rated the anthracnose resistance of V. labrusca as 8 and that of V. vinifera as 0 to 3 on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 indicated completely susceptible and 10 indicated completely resistant. Winkler (1962) reported that most, but not all, V. vinifera cultivars were highly susceptible to anthracnose. However, they did not describe in detail the differences in resistance among cultivars. In Japan, Kawakami (1932) described the anthracnose resistance of V. vinifera cultivars, classifying ‘Pinot’, ‘Malaga’, ‘Riesling’, and ‘Muscat Hamburg’ as resistant and ‘Thompson Seedless’, ‘Muscat of Alexandria’, and ‘Flame Tokay’ as susceptible cultivars.
Mortensen (1981) recorded the anthracnose symptom severity of 67 Vitis clones for 4 to 6 years. These cultivars were classified on a scale of 1 to 7 (no symptoms to very severe symptoms), and some American hybrid cultivars, including ‘Blue Lake’, ‘Caco’, ‘Champanel’, ‘Concord’, ‘Delaware’, ‘Liberty’, ‘Ontario’, and ‘Urbana’, were evaluated as good sources of resistance. None of the V. vinifera cultivars tested were considered resistant, although the author mentioned that V. vinifera cultivars, including ‘Gulabi’ (synonym of ‘Muscat Hamburg’; Gurme and Kore, 1977), ‘Golden City’, and ‘Jakaranda’ (descendants of ‘Koenigin der Weingaerten’ × ‘Pearl of Csaba’) had previously been reported as resistant (Evans, 1971). Yun et al. (2006) evaluated 61 cultivars by scoring the numbers of lesions on leaves in a greenhouse after artificial inoculation and that of the lesions in a vineyard by natural infection. On the basis of artificial inoculation, the V. vinifera cultivars Black Swan, Rosario Bianco, and Kaiji were rated as susceptible, whereas the hybrid tetraploid cultivars Kyoho and Benifuji were moderately susceptible. The American hybrid cultivars, Campbell Early, Niagara, Sheridan, and Izumo Queen were rated as resistant.
Macroscopic rating based on foliar symptoms has been a common evaluation method throughout these studies. This method is straightforward and is appropriate for evaluating the resistance of the cultivars in the field. However, the method is costly and inefficient in terms of land use given that grape is a perennial vine crop. We have previously shown that evaluations based on lesion number and length can be reliable for rating the resistance to anthracnose using greenhouse-grown cuttings (Kono et al., 2012). The objective of this study was to evaluate anthracnose resistance using 39 V. vinifera cultivars or selections, 19 American hybrid cultivars, 49 Japanese hybrid selections, 17 tetraploid cultivars, and nine wild-type species or other cultivars of different origin based on lesion number and length. We aimed to compare anthracnose resistance within and between these groups and to identify resistant genetic resources for breeding.
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