Grapevine pathogen diagnosis

AWRI Commercial Services provides a range of diagnostic services for the detection of grapevine diseases using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).


Diagnosis of virus-like diseases (pathogens) by PCR

  • Australian grapevine yellows phytoplasma and other phytoplasmas (by two-step PCR)
  • Agrobacterium vitis (crown gall, using suspected gall tissue)
  • Xylella fastidiosa (Pierce’s disease) – quarantinable in Australia

Diagnosis of grapevine viruses

Closteroviridae Grapevine leafroll associated viruses (GLRaV) (eight virus types: 1-7 & 9 are detected)
  • Grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV)
    (An American fanleaf associated nepovirus of grapevines)
  • Arabis mosaic virus (ArMV) (A European fanleaf associated nepovirus of grapevines)
  • Raspberry ringspot virus (RRSV)
Geminiviruses Grapevine red blotch-associated virus

Rugose wood viruses

These viruses affect grafting compatibility take so it is very important to have varieties tested for these viruses.

  • Grapevine virus A (GVA), associated with Kober stem grooving disease and Australian Shiraz Disease
  • Grapevine virus B (GVB), associated with Corky Bark Disease
  • Grapevine virus D
  • Grapevine virus E
  • Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus (RSPaV) and its Syrah Decline strain. This virus can be detected in seeds and pollens
Maculavirus Grapevine fleck virus (GFkV), strains A and B

Note: It is very important to test for these viruses (see list A1 on the price list) before top-working

Find out more

Virus testing fact sheet
Detection of Grapevine Pinot Gris Virus in dormant canes

Sampling for virus testing

During the dormant season select one cane of 120 mm in length from the middle to the basal end of the shoot. Select five plants and send one cane from each. Canes with longer internodes from the centre of the canopy are desirable. During the growing season collect basal green canes. Do not send leaves. Colour prints or digital photos from diseased vines sent in JPEG format will assist with diagnosis.

Place all five canes (as a single sample) in a single self-sealed plastic bag and mark the bag clearly. Samples can be stored in a refrigerator for up to one week. Fill in and sign a copy of the Service Agreement and send it with samples.

Handling and delivery

Grapevine samples must be delivered in self-sealed, secured and durable plastic bags. Include the Plant Health Certificate and the accreditation letter with the samples (where applies). Send samples preferably via Express Post to the address shown below.

PCR charges

Each grapevine sample can be assayed for up to 12 viruses. A universal nested PCR assay for the detection of phytoplasmas is also available. Testing for seed-borne viruses and for the virus of subterranean clover red leaf disease is also available. Please see the price list for details.

Permit requirements

Plant material must be certified by the customer as being free of certain pests and diseases before entering South Australia. You will need a plant health certificate (PHC), which must be enclosed with your samples. To get the certificate contact your local Department of Agriculture and notify them of your intention to transport grapevine samples to South Australia.

Samples from Phylloxera-free areas of NSW, Victoria, Queensland, WA and Tasmania should be accompanied with the attached Interim Accreditation Permit from PIRSA.

To send samples from Phylloxera infested areas contact the virus testing team to send you a kit to extract samples and send the extracts back for further processing (no permit is needed).

Overseas material

Specify the number of samples and an RNA/DNA extraction kit of the appropriate size will be mailed to you.

Follow all above instructions and also attach the import permit that will be emailed to you. Upon arrival in Australia, the overseas DNA extracts will be inspected by quarantine services at the client’s cost.

On company letterhead please specify the plant species name (e.g. Vitis vinifera) and that the extracts are in 4 M guanidine lysis buffer.



Virus testing team

Telephone: 08 8313 7426