Wine-drinkers of the world rejoice! New research finds key to billion-dollar problem
by University of Massachusetts Amherst
Grapevine Trunk Diseases, or GTDs, are the bane of vineyard owners worldwide, and as of 2012, were responsible for more than $1.5 billion in annual economic damages. While researchers have long known that a host of pathogenic fungi combine to gang up on grapevines, the mechanics of how these GTD-causing fungi work has remained a mystery.
Recently, an international cohort of researchers, led by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, announced a previously unknown mechanism that is deployed by a group of pathogenic fungi working in concert and which are responsible for the death of the grapevines. Thankfully, it would seem that a fairly easy, cost-effectivesolution may be on the horizon.
GTDs have been known to devastate up to 30% of the vines in a single vineyard each year, and typically attack older, well-established vines. In California alone, annual GTD-related losses amount to 14% of the total value of the wine grapes produced.