Esca is a trunk disease of vines that is caused by interaction between the fungi Phellinus punctatus and Phaeoacremonium chlamydosporum. By infecting woody tissue, esca causes a general decline in vine vigour, with characteristic leaf and fruit symptoms on mature vines. Vines eventually die, sometimes within less than 5 years from initial infection.
P. punctatus is a wound invader and infects through large wounds on the trunk or cordons of mature vines. P. punctatus cannot, however, infect vines and cause esca symptoms without prior infection of the wood by P. chlamydosporum.
Esca is one of the oldest grapevine diseases known, and while it has been of minor importance in the past, its incidence and negative impact have increased greatly in Europe in recent years. The same situation is expected to appear in the newer-producing countries, such as Australia and the USA, as the high number of new vineyards heavily infected with P. chlamydosporum reach an age at which the vines are susceptible to infection by P. punctatus.
Following encouraging in vitro screening work conducted on our behalf by leading specialists in Hungary and Italy, Eden is testing trunk injection techniques using our encapsulated terpene products to combat this costly disease.
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