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"ICGTD - Achievements and Challenges of the Future"
by Luigi Chiarappa

Since the late 1980s trunk disease problems have emerged that are of paramount importance to the grape industry. They include the resurgence of esca (black measles) and eutypa dieback in mature vineyards, dieback by Botryosphaeria species and decline diseases of young vines in newly planted vineyards. These diseases were attracting attention from scientists all over the world, but the research was often conducted in isolation and there was little exchange of the rather fragmentary information.

The realization that both esca in mature vines and decline in young vines were associated with the same fungus, and the naming of that fungus as Phaeoacremonium chlamydosporum (later renamed Phaeomoniella chlamydospora) focussed the attention of researchers on possible inter-relationships of these diseases. The need for closer coordination between scientists working on these diseases was realized, and the idea of an International Council on Grapevine Trunk Diseases (ICGTD) was conceived.

The first ICGTD meeting took place in California (USA) in July 1998, and agreed on a structure and objective for the ICGTD. The ICGTD serves as a forum for researchers from grape growing countries. The ICGTD executive consists of a chairperson and four regional coordinators. The first chairperson of ICGTD was Dr. Luigi Chiarappa, who first proposed the formation of the ICGTD. The other founding members were Ian Pascoe, Lucie Morton, Laura Mugnai, Lisa van de Water, and Philippe Larignon.

The International Council of Grapevine Trunk Diseases has been welcomed as the Subject Matter Committee on Grapevine Trunk Diseases by the International Society for Plant Pathology (see ISPP Newsletter 31 (4) August 2001).

The ICGTD is a non-profit organization. It has no sponsors, no membership fees. All its activities are carried out on a volunteer basis and have the strong support of ISPP and of MPU (Mediterranean Phytopathological Society, editor of Phytopathologia Mediterranea).