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Extension > Yard and Garden News > Disease Resistance of Cold Hardy Grapes

Disease Resistance of Cold Hardy Grapes

Michelle Grabowski, UMN Extension Educator

Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org

Photo 1: Anthracnose on grape berries

New research published in Plant Health Progress provides Minnesota grape growers with more information about disease resistance of cold hardy grapes. Canadian researchers tested several cold hardy cultivars of wine grape for resistance to Anthracnose. Anthracnose, a disease caused by the fungus Elsinoe ampelina, can infect leaves, tendrils, shoots, and immature berries of grape vines. Leaves have dark brown to black spots. As leaf spots grow, the center of the spot turns gray to white and eventually falls out. Leaves may appear peppered with small shot holes. Anthracnose lesions on stems and petioles are sunken oval spots that almost look like hail damage, but the edges Anthracnose spots will always be black. Berries infected with anthracnose have brown to black spots with a pale white center. These spots are often described as 'bird's eye' spots.


Anthracnose thrives in warm, wet weather. In Minnesota, some vineyards see Anthracnose every year, and others rarely have a problem says University of Minnesota Grape Breeder Dr. Jim Luby. The Canadian researchers found Frontenac and Frontenac Gris to be resistant to anthracnose, Frontenac Blanc and La Crescent to be susceptible, and Marquette to be highly susceptible. Growers interested in trying new wine grape cultivars should learn about disease resistance to several grape diseases in addition to anthracnose. Downy mildew, black rot, powdery mildew and Botrytiscan all be problematic in Minnesota vineyards. More information about disease resistance and culture of cold hardy grapes can be found at the University of Minnesota Cold Hardy Grape webpage.

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