The yielding capacity of grapevine growth and the quality of the resulting product heavily depend on the health of the cultivated plants. The phytopathogens affecting the vineyards can cause a significant reduction in the yield and quality of the product. For this reason, it is extremely important to use diagnostic methods that make it possible to identify the pathogens, and to choose the correct method of plant protection. This review considers the main viral grapevine pathogens, and the existing methods of their diagnosis. The limitations of conventional diagnostic methods that are based either on the visual assessment of symptoms, or on bio-testing, are analyzed. A major focus is placed on two intensively developed approaches of diagnosis, molecular genetic and immunochemical methods. Applications of amplification techniques and DNA chips are presented, as well as opportunities for next-generation sequencing. A reduction of assay duration and labor intensity in combination with the assay shifts from specialized laboratories toward the places of sampling are considered as the main factors influencing the development of immunodiagnostic techniques. The potential place of diagnostic tests in vine-growing practices, and the requirements for their most efficient applications for early disease diagnosis is also discussed.
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