Publication Details

Blanchfield, A. L., Powell, K. S. and Robinson, S. A. (2007). Preliminary investigations of pigment responses to phylloxera infestation. K. S. Powell and C. J. Trethowan In Proceedings of the Third International Grapevine Phylloxera Symposium, 7 Oct 2005, Fremantle, W.A.. Acta Horticulturae, 733 123-133.


Early detection of grape phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae) infestation is vital for the implementation of post-outbreak quarantine in Australia. Remote sensing systems exploit changes in leaf pigment content associated with plant stress and offer a real possibility of a phylloxera-specific detection system. Pre-visual, symptomatic changes in the pigment content of phylloxera-infested grapevine leaves were investigated using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) as a potential aid to improve current phylloxera detection methods. A glasshouse trial was established to characterize the response of two grapevine varieties, Vitis vinifera ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ and ‘Shiraz’, to phylloxera infestation, in a controlled environment. Field trials were conducted on two grapevine varieties, V. vinifera ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ and ‘Pinot Noir’, at two sites, to compare grapevine response to phylloxera infestation under field conditions. A reduction in the leaf chlorophyll content and an increase in photoprotective pigment concentrations were observed in leaves of phylloxera-infested grapevines compared to uninfested vines. With further investigation, the identification of grapevine leaf pigment responses to phylloxera infestation may prove useful for the rapid, non-invasive, detection of phylloxera in commercial vineyards.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Acta Horticulturae