Sporulation rate in culture and mycoparasitic activity, but not mycohost specificity, are the key factors for selecting Ampelomyces strains for biocontrol of grapevine powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator)

Sara Elisabetta Legler, Alexandra Pintye, Tito Caffi, Szilvia Gulyás, Gyula Bohár, Vittorio Rossi, Levente Kiss

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To develop a new biofungicide product against grapevine powdery mildew, caused by Erysiphe necator, cultural characteristics and mycoparasitic activities of pre-selected strains of Ampelomyces spp. were compared in laboratory tests to the commercial strain AQ10. Then, a 2-year experiment was performed in five vineyards with a selected strain, RS1-a, and the AQ10 strain. This consisted of autumn sprays in vineyards as the goal was to reduce the number of chasmothecia of E. necator, and, thus, the amount of overwintering inocula, instead of targeting the conidial stage of the pathogen during spring and summer. This is a yet little explored strategy to manage E. necator in vineyards. Laboratory tests compared the growth and sporulation of colonies of a total of 33 strains in culture; among these, eight strains with superior characteristics were compared to the commercial product AQ10 Biofungicide® in terms of their intra-hyphal spread, pycnidial production, and reduction of both asexual and sexual reproduction in E. necator colonies. Mycoparasitic activities of the eight strains isolated from six different powdery mildew species, including E. necator, did not depend on their mycohost species of origin. Strain RS1-a, isolated from rose powdery mildew, showed, together with three strains from E. necator, the highest rate of parasitism of E. necator chasmothecia. In field experiments, each strain, AQ10 and RS1-a, applied twice in autumn, significantly delayed and reduced early-season development of grapevine powdery mildew in the next year. Therefore, instead of mycohost specificity of Ampelomyces presumed in some works, but not confirmed by this study, the high sporulation rate in culture and the mycoparasitic patterns became the key factors for proposing strain RS1-a for further development as a biocontrol agent of E. necator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-736
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Plant Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016



  • Ampelomyces quisqualis
  • Biofungicide
  • Biological control
  • Erysiphales
  • Mycoparasite
  • Sanitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture

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