ATTEMPTS TO ELIMINATE GRAPEVINE RUPESTRIS STEM PITTINGASSOCIATED VIRUS FROM GRAPEVINE CLONES
I. Gribaudo, G. Gambino, D. Cuozzo, F. Mannini
The presence of Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus (GRSPaV) together with other viruses can cause severe damage to infected grapevine plants, therefore the use of GRSPaV-free vines for multiplication and vineyard planting is highly desirable. This paper reports on several virus eradication techniques applied to grapevine clones in attempts to eliminate GRSPaV. The presence of GRSPaV was determined by RT-PCR. The traditional sanitation techniques, i.e. meristem tip culture, in vivo and in vitro thermotherapy, did not provide satisfactory results since more than two-thirds of derived lines were still GRSPaV-infected after treatment. However, regeneration through somatic embryogenesis always gave rise to plants free from GRSPaV. Among the tested techniques, somatic embryogenesis seems to be the most promising procedure for GRSPaV elimination, despite the technical problems related to the use of this technique and the theoretical possibility of somaclonal variation.