Chapter 20

Managing Vineyard Diseases

Fungal Pathogens

Fungi make up the largest group of pathogens, and they come in a wide variety. Commonly known as molds, fungi (singular = fungus) are mostly microscopic organisms that have bodies (mycelium) composed of multi-cellular, thread-like, branched filaments (hyphae) and reproductive structures called spores. Since they do not possess chlorophyll, fungi depend on either dead organic matter or living plants for their growth and reproduction. Wind often disperses many fungal pathogens. Spores can be carried for miles by wind. Splashing water, from rainfall or irrigation, will also move fungal spores from plant to plant. Fungi that live in the soil can move from vine to vine by growing along intermingled roots or out from infested plant debris in the soil. Fungi can also be spread by human activity, through movement of already diseased vines or the use of vineyard tools.

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