Vineyards in Ontario, Canada are taking a $2-million hit each year from a bacterial disease called crown gall ... and the situation is getting worse. But new biological control techniques may soon put an end to its reign. Crown gall is sweeping across wineries around the world, and is particularly prevalent in Ontario's Niagara region grapes because of the cooler climate. It causes freeze damage, which can provide sites for infection where tumours later develop. It's estimated that 10 per cent of Ontario grape crops are infected with the disease. Problems surrounding grape production in Ontario are being investigated in research centres across the province. For example, at the University of Guelph, Plant Agriculture Prof. Bryan McKersie is using biotechnology to transfer cold resistance to grape vines, which could decrease freeze damage and help protect the plant against crown gall infection.
The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Guelph. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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