Bacteria and vine viruses

Bacteria and vine viruses

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It seems that the spontaneous or sylvan vine is a plant of ancient origin, even prehistoric. His discovery, on the other hand, by man, dates back to the Paleolithic and gave rise to various theories on how it could be begun. One of the most suggestive theories is that which sees the first men picking the berries of wild vines in imitation of birds. The use of a container in which to place the berries and the pressure of one on the other, would have let the juice come out producing a kind of rudimentary wine, consumed by our ancestors. It is believed that the first plant was domesticated in Anatolia or in any case in the Transcaucasian area more than 8000 years ago. The Greeks then cultivated vines with low rows that they exported to Italy in their colonies; the Etruscans, on the other hand, only knew very high vines. Since then, the vine is still one of the most loved and prized crops.

Vine viruses

The presence of a viral infestation is particularly detrimental to the vines, and manifests itself with a very precise symptomatology. In fact, the plant can present structural damage, growing abnormally. Also chromatic alterations of the most sensitive components of the plant is a clear indication of its disease. Among the most widespread diseases of viral origin we mention: those with curling complex and infectious degeneration, those of curly wood and those with leaf curl. The first type, according to the symptoms manifested, takes on different names: a of arbat mosaic, a yellow mosaic, a perinerval coloring. It is a widespread infectious disease in ancient vines and caused by nematodes. Responsible for foliar curling are nine viruses, such as GLRaV, while among the viruses that cause wood to curl we remember the RSP.

Bacteria of the vine

The diseases caused by bacteria are commonly referred to as phytoplasma infections, but more known as "grapevine yellows". This type of infection was discovered in the 1950s in various areas of the world, but has assumed a predominant diffusion in European viticulture. When we talk about phytoplasma infections we generally refer to two very harmful diseases for cultivation: black wood and golden flavescence. As the name of the diseases suggests to us, they act at the epidermal level, darkening the branches in the first case, turning the leaves yellow in the second. Precisely because of the sparse presence or in the most serious cases of chromatic alterations, it is very easy to distinguish a plant infected with bacteria from a healthy plant, and then try to intervene.

Bacteria and vine viruses: How to fight them

But are there ways to combat viruses and vine bacteria? And what are they? Viral infections are mainly the fruit of nepovirus, transmitted by nematodes that feed on the roots of the plant and the soil on which the graft is found. The main means by which these viruses propagate is the use by the viticulturist of infected culture material. Unfortunately, to date, once our plant has been infected by viral organisms, nothing can be done to fight the infection, if not to isolate the diseased vines from healthy ones, preventing the disease from spreading. In this case, prevention through the choice of controlled material is very important. Even in the case of pathologies caused by bacteria, the only effective means of struggle is prevention, which is generally expressed through the annihilation of insect vectors.