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New PCR test for grape disease detection

Researchers from Spain’s Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development (Neiker-Tecnalia - Usurbil) have developed a new method for detecting mildew and mould diseases in grapevines. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method includes an improved sample decontamination step. The test is able to detect downy mildew ( Plasmopara viticola) , powdery mildew ( Erysiphe necator) and grey mould ( Botrytis cinerea), at a much earlier stage in infection than other tests, and before disease symptoms become apparent, the researchers say. Standard tests for detecting the diseases in vineyards rely on visual identification of fungal spores in air samples.

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