Petri Disease

Definition - What does Petri Disease mean?

In the context of wine vine diseases, petri disease is an infection caused by air-borne spores that can infect young vines from 1 to 6 years of age trying to establish themselves in the vineyard. Viticulturists can identify petri-disease by the growth and development of the vines, as vines infected with petri disease will be weak and stunted in growth with little to no shoot development or bud burst in the spring. In order to ensure petri disease doesn’t strike in the vineyard, viticulturists can reduce pruning or trimming to reduce the risk of the spores infecting vines.

WineFrog explains Petri Disease

Petri-disease commonly exists in vineyards with vines that struggle with this disease, it can also be introduced from vines being imported to the vineyard. The petri-disease fungus, lives in the woody part of infected vines and can become airborne during trimming, pruning or after significant rainfall. The fungus destroys the tracheal cells that transport water and nutrients to the vines, often only a part of the vine will appear to be affected, however, the fungus will live within the vine. The air-borne spores can also infect a plant through the soil if the roots are damaged.

Viticulturists can reduce the risk of petri-disease, by ensuring that vines are healthy, as strong healthy plants can resist the fungus if they receive the proper care and nutrients and grow in a stress free growing region without extremes of weather. If pruning or trimming has to be done, the cuts can be treated with sealant, and growers can also spray fungicide and treat plants they suspect of carrying the fungus into the vineyards.

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