Exploring the Growth and Cropping Potential of Pierce's Disease Resistant Vitis vinifera L. Selections for Enhanced Viticultural Sustainability in Alabama and the Southeast

Text - scientific article/review article


Cultivation of Vitis vinifera L. grapevines has not been economically feasible in the southeastern U.S. due to the major limiting factor, Pierce's disease (PD), caused by the endemic, xylem-limited bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. Heretofore, hybrids of V. vinifera x V. arizonica/candicans have not been evaluated in the hot and humid subtropical climate of central Alabama. In 2010, an experimental vineyard consisting of three UC Davis developed PD resistant 87.5% V. vinifera selections ('U0501-12', 'U0502-10', and 'U0501-12') was planted at the Chilton Research and Extension Center, (CREC), Clanton, AL for the purpose of investigating the survival rate and overall performance of these selections in the southeastern U.S. Preliminary studies in our lab suggest the V. vinifera selections responded well to local conditions and were free of PD infection. This report focuses on recent two-year assessment of vegetative growth, cropping potential, and fruit quality of V. vinifera advanced selections during the period of vine establishment. Our results suggest 'U0501-12' had the smallest trunk cross-sectional-area in both years. Pruning weights for all selections ranged between 1.7 and 2.0 kg/vine in both study years. Total yield in 2015 was 8.7, 10.7 and 10.9 kg/vine for 'U0501-12', 'U0502-01', and 'U0502-10', respectively. Furthermore, 'U0502-10' consistently had the largest cluster size and lowest cluster number per vine. The PD resistant V. vinifera selections demonstrated high cropping potential and plant vigor in both study years, indicating they can sustain viticulture in the southeast while enhancing opportunities for the grape growing industry in the region. Further work to thoroughly characterize the viticultural performance of PD resistant V. vinifera selections in Alabama's environment is critical.


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  • Xylella fastidiosa