After six years of studies and thanks to the funds provided for the project from the Vega Sicilia S.A. winery, researchers from the Leon University in Spain have developed a method to protect grapevine pruning wounds. The results of these studies have just recently been published in the American Journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
 
Two patents, a Spanish and a european one, protect the results of this study. The publication of this study is gaining worldwide recognition. According to Juan Jose Rubio Coque, coordinator of the research project, the protection method is very efficient against infections from the fungi that cause grapevine trunk diseases such as esca, eutypiosis and Petri disease.
 
It is a combination of natural antimycotics that are sprayed on the wound right after pruning, this efficiently prevents infections due to fungi that could enter these wounds. Laboratory trials were conducted to test a variety of pathogenic fungi and the efficacy was also tested directly in experimental vineyards. 
 
Plants treated with this product had greatly reduced infection rates of the fungi responsible for grapevine trunk diseases and also a very low mortality rate in comparison to non treated plants. 
 
The importance of this study is that it provides a solution to a difficult problem that affects vineyards all over the world and that at present there is no effective solution on the market. Since the product is composed of natural antimycotics it has a low environmental impact and its components are non toxic to humans and animals. The product efficacy is increased since the various antimycotics have different modes of action.
 
This product is a promising alternative to other traditional synthetic antimycotics, and it could be used even in Organic viticulture. 
 
reference
Cobos R, RM Mateos Perez Alvarez-JM, MA Olego, Sevillano S, Gonzalez-Garcia S, Garzon-Jimeno E, Coca-Cola JJR. 2015. Effectiveness of Natural Antifungal Compounds in Controlling Infection by Grapevine Trunk Disease Pathogens through Pruning Wounds . Appl Environ Microbiol 81: 6474-6483. doi: 10,1128 / AEM.01818-15.