Polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) and its fungus in South African vineyards

Project number
US FR 20-01

Project leader
Prof. F. Roets

Institution
Department of Conservation Ecology, Stellenbosch University

Project description
This project will do preliminary investigations into the host status of grapevine to the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer beetle (PSHB). Researchers also aim to characterise the pathogenicity of Fusarium euwallaceae to grapevines and assess the effect of infection by F. euwallaceae on plant health parameters such as leaf and fruit development and chlorosis. Importantly, this will inform future studies on mitigation measures where needed.
The invasive (PSHB) is a devastating insect pest that, together with its symbiotic fungus F. euwallaceae, can kill a wide range of hosts and cause significant economic damage. Its presence has recently been confirmed in the Western Cape. The effect of beetle infestation and infection with the Fusarium dieback fungus on grapevine is currently unknown. A list of known host tree species for the beetle in South Africa includes grapevine. The report on grapevine is from single plants in garden settings and extrapolating effects on agricultural systems is therefore not possible, hence the need for this research.

 

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