Skip to main content

Fungicide Resistance in Grapevine

Advancing diagnostics for monitoring and management of fungicide resistance in grapevine.

The challenge

Powdery mildew, Botrytis bunch rot and downy mildew are some of the most economically important diseases in Australian viticulture. Fungi or fungal-like pathogens infect the plant tissue and cause damage that reduces fruit quality and yield. In many wine-growing regions, these pathogens threaten industry sustainability and are a major cause of production losses.

Australian vineyards rely on access to effective fungicides to control these diseases. In all three cases, however, the pathogens responsible have developed resistance to commonly used fungicides. If fungicide resistance increases and spreads, it threatens the effectiveness of this disease management and the productivity and profitability of grape production.

Detecting fungicide resistance has typically relied on phenotyping. This involves isolating a pathogen from a diseased plant and testing whether it can survive treatment with different doses of a particular fungicide in the laboratory. Genetic tests can also be used to diagnose fungicide resistance. But these approaches can be labour-intensive, costly and slow.

About the project

This project will develop rapid, cost-effective tools for lab and field-based diagnosis of antimicrobial-resistance in pathogens affecting Australian vineyards. With these tools, the viticulture sector can improve the detection of AMR and map its prevalence and distribution.

By monitoring fungicide resistance in wine regions across Australia each year, we will also create a valuable information resource for the viticulture sector. This information will help vineyards to take appropriate steps to manage AMR and reduce its impacts.

What the project aims to achieve

  • Developing new tools to enable the Australian viticulture industry to better monitor fungicide resistance in grapevines in real time
  • Creating a comprehensive dataset of the resistance status in vineyards around the country, to give the industry a clearer picture of its risk profile
  • Identifying new markers of resistance, which will inform the development of improved tests
  • Developing robust sampling protocols to make it easier to collect and prepare samples for accurate and reliable testing in the lab and in the field
  • Enabling the viticulture industry to source the information needed to make evidence-based decisions about how best to mitigate AMR risk, such as through tailored spray programs and integrated disease management programs

Who will benefit

Vineyards, grape growers


4 years

Project lead

Wine Australia joined SAAFE CRC to help the grape and wine industry better tackle foliar diseases and reduce fungicide resistance.

Project partners

South Australian R&D Institute (SARDI)

Curtin University

Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI)