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Flavid II - Detecting and managing “Flavescence dorée” phytoplasma inoculum at landscape level


“Flavescence dorée” (FD) is a quarantine disease caused by the FD phytoplasma (FDp), which was first reported in the 1950s in South-western France. In Europe, it is now spread in most vineyard areas despite the systematic mandatory control mainly consisting of insecticide applications against the FDp insect vector, and the removal of infected grapevines. Although in Europe the epidemic transmission of FDp in vineyards occurs through the Nearctic leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus, other Auchenorrhyncha species as well as several deciduous woody species have resulted to be infected by different FDp strains so far.

All this indicates that the FDp epidemics and ecology may be better represented as a complex system that is not limited to the binomial “grapevine – S. titanus” relationship within the vineyard. In particular, the presence of woody species and gone-wild grapevines in the landscape surrounding vineyards could play an important role in increasing the pressure of the FDp inoculum for grapevines.
With this project, we aim at:

  • deepening the knowledge about possible and so far undetected reservoirs of FDp with epidemic potential in grapevine in and outside vineyards
  • testing if habitat management measures at the vineyard-forest interface may contribute to lower the epidemic pressure in terms of FDp inoculum


Follow-up project to Epidemiology of Flavescence dorée in vineyards of Southern Switzerland