Gaphannex - Diaporthe vaccinii in Blueberry

The economically most important Vaccinium species in Europe are V. myrtillus (wild blueberry), V. corymbosum (American blueberry) and to a lesser extent V. oxycoccus, V. macrocarpon, V. uliginosum and V. vitis-idaea. In Belgium, commercial cultivation is focused on V. corymbosum while V. myrtillus is endemic in forests. The fungus Diaporthe includes species that cause twig lesions and mortality on Vaccinium, of which Diaporthe vaccinii is one of the most important ones. It is classified as a quarantine organism in the EU. To determine the status of D. vaccinii on Vaccinium species in Belgium, a federally-funded project (Gaphannex) was started. A two year survey is being conducted throughout Belgian forests as well as in the most important blueberry production regions in the country. Samples were collected and analyzed for the presence of Diaporthe species via traditional plating on nutrient media but also using novel multiplexed qPCR assays for D. vaccinii, D. eres and D. viticola.


Contact: Wendy Van Hemelrijck and Tanja Vanwalleghem

Timing: 1/01/2017 - 31/12/2018

Partnership: ILVO (Martine Maes) and CRA (Bernard Watillon)

Financing: FOD