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Plant Cell Rep. 2004 Mar;22(8):608-14. Epub 2003 Nov 1.

Chitosan improves development, and protects Vitis vinifera L. against Botrytis cinerea.

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  • 1UFR Sciences, URVVC, UPRES EA 2069, Laboratoire de Biologie et Physiologie Végétales, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, B.P. 1039, 51687 Reims Cedex 2, France.


We evaluated the potential of chitosan both to stimulate plant development and to induce protection from Botrytis cinerea in Vitis vinifera L. plantlets. The presence of 1.75% (v/v) chitogel in the culture medium was the optimal concentration for in vitro grapevine plantlet growth, as determined by measurements on enhancement of root and shoot biomass. Photosynthesis and related parameters were also stimulated in chitogel-treated plantlets. Chitogel reduced the development of Botrytis cinerea and induced cytological alterations to the pathogen. When challenged with the fungus, a significant decrease in disease incidence was observed in plants growing on medium supplemented with chitogel. Furthermore, exogenous foliar applications of chitogel to plantlets growing on chitogel-free medium sensitized them so as to be protected against Botrytis cinerea attack. Our results indicate that chitogel can be used in the vineyard as a means to attain protection against Botrytis cinerea and that its application may counteract the wide use of chemical pesticides.

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