Grapevine is one of the most important and globally widespread fruit species, with a high impact on the economy of many countries but with an intense environmental effect. Therefore, new environmentally friendly defense strategies against fungal pathogens are needed for more sustainable agriculture. A novel emerging approach is spray-induced gene silencing (SIGS), which concerns the exogenous application of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) inducing enhanced plant resistance against fungal pathogens. Here, we tested the ability of SIGS to prevent and counteract infection of Botrytis cinerea, one of the most economically impacting pathogens of grapevine. In particular, we tested three independent approaches for dsRNA delivery into plants: (i) high pressure spraying of leaves; (ii) petiole adsorption of dsRNAs; (iii) postharvest spraying of bunches. We demonstrated that independently from the method of application, SIGS can reduce virulence of the fungus. Moreover, we also observed three different levels of efficacy depending on the method of application. Thus, the present data provide crucial information on the possibility to exploit SIGS as an alternative sustainable and ecofriendly strategy for grapevine pre- and postharvest protection. 

Ente che ha curato la pubblicazione
Luca Nerva, Marco Sandrini, Giorgio Gambino, Walter Chitarra
Tecniche produttive