innovative strategies for enhancing disease management in organic vineyards.

Tito Caffi, Stefano Poni, Vittorio Rossi, Sara Elisabetta Legler, Javier Tardaguila, H. H. Kassemeyer, F. G. Rosner, H. Reisenzein, G. Strauss, M. Gorfer, P. Storchi, H. J. Schroers

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Organic viticulture has grown considerably in the last decade; nonetheless, organic farming still has a huge potential for innovation and improved solutions specifically for the control of pests and pathogens. The research project (, funded by European Union within the CORE Organic II ERA-Net (project no. 249667), aims at improving disease control, one of the most difficult tasks in organic viticulture, through innovative cropping systems based on integration of: i) enhanced plant resistance, ii) vineyard management practices, iii) use of biological control agents, and iv) targeted applications based on disease models. During the first year, the above mentioned components of an integrated system have been developed and tested. Natural compounds were tested with a leaf disk assay and some of them were able to activate plant innate immunity. Early leaf removal, resulting in modified microclimate and changed bunch compactness and berry skin structure, was effective in reducing grey mould incidence on grapes. The entomopathogenic fungus Lecanicillium lecanii was used against the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus, the vector of the flavescence dorée phytoplasma, and proved to be virulent to its second instar nymphs. Disease models for downy and powdery mildews were implemented in a web-based decision support system for organic viticulture, and tested in several Italian vineyards; the number of copper treatments against downy mildew was reduced by 36% on average. Finally, innovative strategies based on these results were designed and evaluated for overall sustainability trough an ex-ante assessment. These strategies are under test in different viticultural areas of Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-167
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event10th International Congress of Plant Pathology - Pechino
Duration: 25 Aug 201330 Aug 2013


  • disease control
  • innovative strategies
  • organic viticulture


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