is a fungal pathogen causing severe dieback in vineyards worldwide. This fungus colonizes vines through pruning wounds, eventually causing a brown sectorial necrosis in wood as well as stunted vegetative growth. Several years may pass between infection and the expression of external symptoms, hindering the rapid evaluation of both grapevine cultivars susceptibility and E. lata
variation in aggressiveness. We aimed to develop a rapid quantitative method for the assessment of wood colonization after inoculation of cuttings in controlled conditions. We used several grape cultivars varying in susceptibility in the vineyard and fungal isolates with different levels of aggressiveness to monitor wood colonization during a maximum period of 2 months. Re-isolation allowed demonstration of the effects of both cultivars and fungal isolates on the rate of wood colonization. We also developed a real-time PCR method that was efficient in measuring fungal biomass, which was found to be correlated with isolate aggressiveness based on foliar symptom severity. The real-time PCR approach appears to be a useful technology to evaluate grapevine susceptibility to E. lata
, and could be adapted to other pathogens associated with grapevine trunk diseases.
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