Fungi associated with Esca

The main fungi (1) associated with esca so far are:
  • Phaeomoniella chlamydospora (W. Gams, Crous, M.J. Wingf. & Mugnai) Crous & W. Gams 2000 
Classification : Herpotrichiellaceae, Chaetothyriales, Chaetothyriomycetidae, Eurotiomycetes, Ascomycota, Fungi
Synonymie  : Phaeoacremonium chlamydosporum W. Gams, Crous, M.J. Wingf. & Mugnai 1996
  • Phaeoacremonium (2) aleophilum W. Gams, Crous, M.J. Wingf. & Mugnai 1996

Classification : Togniniaceae, Diaporthales, Sordariomycetidae, Sordariomycetes, Ascomycota, Fungi  

Synonymie : Togninia minima (Tul. & C. Tul.) Berl. (1900)

  • Fomitiporia minor (P. Karst.) Murrill 1947

Classification : Hymenochaetaceae, Hymenochaetales, Incertae_sedis_, Cryptomycocolacomycetes, Basidiomycota, Fungi

Synonymie : ASPEN dotted (Fr.) Pilát 1942 , Polyporus dotted Fr. 1874

  • Fomitiporia inland M. Fischer. 2002

Classification : Hymenochaetaceae, Hymenochaetales, Incertae_sedis_, Cryptomycocolacomycetes, Basidiomycota, Fungi

  • Stereum hirsutum  (Willd.) Pers. 1800

Classification : Stereaceae, Russulales, Incertae_sedis_, Cryptomycocolacomycetes, Basidiomycota, Fungi

Let us add that several species of Botryosphaeria , long considered to be saprophytic fungi (eg Sphaeropsis ) but frequent in the wood of vines affected by esca, could be involved in this disease - Botryosphaeria obtusa (Schwein.) Shoemaker 1964 / Neofusicoccum parvum ( Pennycook & Samuels) Crous, Slippers & AJL Phillips 2006 -.

P. chlamydospora , P. aleophilum and F. mediterranea are the 3 main fungi associated with esca in Europe. Their inoculation into the wood made it possible to easily reproduce necrotic lesions, on the other hand the leaf symptoms were only partially observed and in the vineyard. Also, most researchers today consider that Koch's postulate has not yet been completely satisfied, suggesting that all the factors leading to the expression of the symptoms of this wasting are not yet known.


The Esca is a major disease of the wood of the vine. The first works carried out in France involving a parasitic origin of esca date from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, with the description of two basidiomycete fungi: Stereum hirsutum and Phellinus igniarius (L.) Quél. 1886 . Since then, many studies carried out in France and abroad have made it possible to better describe the symptoms and fungal agents associated with this decline.

This disease is present in many wine-growing countries where it causes the decline of vines leading gradually to their death. Known to European winegrowers for a very long time, it has also been given the names of apoplexy or folletage because it caused the sudden death of the vine during the summer. The incidence of this disease is very high in many vineyards, this is the case in France where it is not uncommon to see plots with more than 50% of diseased plants.

Last change : 04/20/21