Viticulture is an important industry in the Moselle region of Luxembourg. Growing grapes for high-quality wines with a low use of pesticides is particularly challenging, because non-chemical control methods that are used in agriculture such as annual crop rotation or tillage systems that interrupt the life cycle of pests and pathogens cannot be used in viticulture due to the perennial character of the crop. Furthermore, the humid climate of the Moselle valley favours the development of fungal plant pathogens that pose a threat to the crop and in turn to wine quality virtually every year. A decrease in pesticide use is desirable to reduce production costs as well as the risks associated with the potential side effects of pesticides on non-target organisms.
The ProVino project will evaluate non-chemical methods for suppressing or delaying fungal epidemics in vineyards for their potential to partly replace fungicides. Studies will be carried out with a focus on innovative cultural control methods that facilitate the drying of leaves and berries, thereby shortening the periods with sufficient humidity for fungal growth, and on methods that provoke plant responses that are favourable for delaying epidemics.
The ProVino project will result in:
"Epidemiology, identification and disease management of grape black rot and potentially useful metabolites of black rot pathogens for industrial applications - a review." Annals of Applied Biology, 2014