Determining factors that may reduce/shorten the productive lifespan of rootstock mother plantations

Project number

Project leader
Halleen, F

ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, Stellenbosch

Start date

Project description
The aim of this project is to identify factors that may reduce or shorten the productive lifespan of rootstock mother blocks. In this study, physical, physiological and pathogenic detail will be considered on the same mother material. This approach has not been followed
before and may provide answers that are hitherto unknown.
Accumulation of pathogen infections inside rootstock mother vines will occur over time through pruning wounds. Currently the risks associated with ageing rootstock mother blocks are unknown as most of these infected rootstock canes will visually appear as healthy. In practice it is unknown at what age mother blocks require replacement. Results from this project can provide local grapevine nurseries, rootstock mother block owners and the Plant Improvement Scheme with scientifically based information and guidelines on how the productive lifespan of rootstock mother blocks can be managed.
This allows for proper planning for replacement of such mother blocks in order to ensure sustainability at farm level. It could potentially make a positive contribution towards higher take percentages in nurseries. However, more importantly it will improve the phytosanitary status of grafted vines which will lead to better establishment success and healthier vines with a longer productive lifespan for the wine industry.

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