Modelling the effect of partial resistance on epidemics of downy mildew of grapevine

Federica Bove, Serge Savary, Laetitia Willocquet, Vittorio Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The cultivation of grape varieties with partial resistance to disease may become an important component for disease management in the future. The impact of partial resistance on downy mildew epidemics according to its components have not been explored so far. This work aims to model, understand, and quantitatively analyse the effect of partial resistance against dual disease epidemics (foliage and clusters) caused by Plasmopara viticola, and rank the efficiency of different resistance components in disease suppression. We use an epidemiological simulation model to integrate the effect of four components of partial resistance, expressed as relative resistance parameters, i.e. infection efficiency (RRIE), latency period (RRLP), sporulation (RRSP), and infectious period (RRIP). Both the individual and combined effect of these components of resistance on downy mildew epidemics are evaluated through a sensitivity analysis. A comparison of simulation runs in different scenarios of disease conduciveness using experimental measurements of components of partial resistance for 16 different grapevine varieties is also performed. Increasing values of RR parameters led to a suppression of disease progress on foliage. The strongest reduction of epidemics on foliage is generated by increases in RRIE, followed by RRSP, RRIP, and last by RRLP. The effect of partial resistance on epidemics is more conspicuous in a scenario of limited disease conduciveness. The strongest suppressive effect of simulated epidemics on clusters is associated with RRIE, and the lowest effect with RRLP, with similar effects of increasing values of RRIP and RRSP. The use of experimentally measured relative resistance parameters to run simulated epidemics shows a reduction of the area under the disease progress curve from 4 × 105 (on a susceptible reference grapevine variety) to 4 × 102 (on cv. Bronner), i.e. a reduction of disease by 1000. The simulation of the varietal effect in intermediate and less favourable scenarios of disease conduciveness strongly suppresses the epidemic on foliage and limits disease on clusters to very low levels. Deploying partial host plant resistance in environments that are not strongly conducive to downy mildew epidemics could represent an effective use of partial resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Plant Pathology
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Components of resistance
  • Host plant resistance
  • Partial resistance
  • Phenotyping
  • Simulation modelling


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