Grapevine Pinot Gris Virus (GPGV) has been detected for the first time in Australia.
This virus is common in many international wine regions in Europe, USA, Canada and China.
GPGV can be spread via infected propagation material and possibly by bud and blister mite. The impact of GPGV on vine health is not well understood and is further complicated by the finding that GPGV is frequently found in mixed infections with other viruses.
Measures have been taken to ensure that no spread will occur from the vines in which the virus has been detected in Australia. To determine the extent of GPGV in Australia, targeted surveillance for the virus by relevant state government biosecurity departments will take place this spring when symptoms are most evident.
GPGV is a member of the genus Trichovirus in the family Betaflexiviridae. It is a recent scientific discovery and the origin of the virus is unknown. The discovery of GPGV in Australia has been enabled by improved diagnostic capability.
GPGV has been reported in China, Croatia, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Italy, France, Korea, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Greece, USA and Turkey and has been confirmed in at least 28 wine and table grape varieties including Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Traminer, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Carmenere.
Grapevines infected with GPGV can either show symptoms, or are symptomless. The symptoms associated with infection include delayed budburst, leaf distortion and mottling, shortened internodes, increased berry acidity and yield loss (reports of up to 80%). These symptoms are most pronounced in spring and may be confused with early season bud mite damage, cold injury or herbicide damage.
Given the recent isolated detections of GPGV in Australia and pending further evidence that GPGV is present in other vineyards in Australia, GPGV is still categorised as an exotic plant pest.
Therefore, it is important that:
- You promptly call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline (1800 084 881) if you observe symptoms in grapevines similar to that described above and in the GPGV fact sheet.
- If you are planting a new vineyard, you speak to your supplier of propagation material to determine virus status of the material.
- If you are undertaking top-working of existing vines, you determine the virus status of both the rootstock (existing vine) and the budwood for grafting.
The two main laboratories for grapevine virus testing in Australia are:
Crop Health Services
AgriBio Specimen Reception
Main Loading Dock, 5 Ring Road,
La Trobe University,
Bundoora, VIC 3083
Phone: 03 9032 7323
University of Adelaide
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
PMB 1, Glen Osmond SA 5064
Phone: 08 8313 7426
More information about GPGV symptoms, sampling, diagnostics and actions following a positive test can be found in the GPGV fact sheet, accessible here.
Further information on GPGV will be provided as new details are obtained, and on completion of the targeted surveillance program in spring 2017.
If you have questions about Grapevine Pinot Gris Virus, please contact Australian Vignerons on 08 8133 4401.
For maximum reach, this advice is being distributed simultaneously by Australian Vignerons, Vinehealth Australia and the Australian Wine Research Institute.