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Two new vine viruses identified in France in 2015

French vineyards are affected by numerous diseases caused by different viruses.  The Grapevine Pinot gris virus (GPGV) and Grapevine Red globe virus (GRGV) have been discovered for the first time in France by two INRA research teams, one in Bordeaux and the other in Colmar.  These viruses may be associated with diseases that affect French vineyards and particularly GPGV, which appears to display symptoms similar to those of fanleaf virus.

Effets du virus GPGV sur différents cépages en Italie. © Giampetruzzi et al. 2012, Giampetruzzi et al. 2012
Updated on 05/25/2016
Published on 03/13/2016

Detection tools have been developed to determine not only the spread in France of the two viruses and the stock affected, but the molecular diversity of these agents.

A multitude of viruses affect vines

Numerous viruses affect vines in France.  At a global level, nearly seventy viruses have been described on this crop, causing a variety of diseases such as infectious degeneration, mottle virus or vine leaf-roll.  The damage caused may vary, but is dependent equally on the identity of the viruses involved and the susceptibility of the vines infected or pedoclimatic conditions.  These diseases can affect berry quality and harvest losses and, in the worst cases, cause the premature death of vines.

New infective agents are regularly being discovered, such as the Grapevine Pinot gris virus (GPGV) and  Grapevine Red globe virus (GRGV), which were identified in French vineyards by scientists from the Joint Research Unit for Fruit Biology and Pathology and the Joint Research Unit for Grapevine Health and Wine Quality in Colmar. GPGV has also been identified in other European countries (Glasa et al., 2014).

From a plant genetics point of view, GPGV is similar to the Grapevine berry inner necrosis virus (GBINV) described in Japan, which is transmitted via a mite.  Two mites commonly affect vines in Europe: Colomerus vitis and Calepitrimerus vitis. Current research is trying to determine whether these two mites are likely to transmit GPGV, which was recently described as being epidemic in Italy and associated with symptoms similar to those of fanleaf virus.  As for GRGV, it may be associated with symptoms that resemble those of the mottling caused by Grapevine fleck virus (GFkV), characterised by vein lightening or leaf curl.

Cutting edge detection techniques

At the same time, numerous diseases of as yet unknown origin - but probably of a viral nature - are present in vines.  Thanks to new technologies such as non-targeted high-throughput sequencing methods, INRA scientists have repeated their studies of these diseases, so that for the first time they can gain an exhaustive view of the viruses affecting vines.

GPGV and GRGV were thus evidenced thanks to the use of high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatic analysis of the results.  GPGV was identified on Merlot plants in the Bordeaux region, and on other varieties from different regions (Alsace, Languedoc Roussillon), particularly on Carignan vines.  Affected plants displayed leaf symptoms (distortion, flattening and yellow coloration) that may resemble those of fanleaf virus.  However, the contribution of GPGV to these symptoms still needs to be established. As for GRGV, it was identified on Cabernet Franc plants from the Bordeaux region and on vines from other parts of France.  Molecular data have enabled the development of specific RT-PCR detection tests and these are currently being used to assess the prevalence of these viruses in collections of vine varieties and rootstocks.


  • Glasa, M., Predajna, L., Komınek, P., Nagyova, A.,Candresse, T.,Olmos, A. (2014). Molecular characterization of divergent Grapevine Pinot gris virus isolates and their detection in Slovak and Czech grapevines.Arch Virol DOI 10.1007/s00705-014-2031-5
  • Beuve, M., Candresse, T., Tannières, M. & Lemaire, O.(2015) First Report of Grapevine Pinot gris virus (GPGV) in grapevine in France.Plant Disease, February 2015, 99:2, 293.
  • Beuve, M., Candresse, T., Tannières, M. & Lemaire, O.(2015) First Report of Grapevine Red Globe virus (GRGV) in grapevine in France.Plant Disease, March 2015, 99:3, 422.