Eutypa dieback: prohibited disease

Page last updated: Tuesday, 4 May 2021 - 11:33am

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Eutypa dieback is caused by the fungus Eutypa lata which is a prohibited organism in Western Australia. It is a major trunk disease of grapevines that reduces yields and kills the vine. It has a wide host range of commercial horticultural crops.

Symptoms are most obvious in early spring when stunted or distorted, cupped leaves appear. The disease can be confused visually with Botryosphaeria dieback that is present in WA.


Eutypa dieback caused by the fungus Eutypa lata is a major trunk disease of grapevines that reduces yields and causes a gradual decline in the productivity of the vine until its eventual death. It is not known to occur in Western Australia but is present in other grape growing regions of Australia and overseas.

The disease is particularly severe in cool climate regions with vineyards that have vines eight years or older. The fungus produces a toxin that stunts and distorts vine growth, including bunches.

The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) has conducted long-term scientific investigations into Eutypa dieback on grapevines and produced many publications on the disease.


The causal fungus, Eutypa lata, has been reported to infect 88 different host plants including Vitis vinifera (grape). Other host plants include commercial horticultural crops such as stone fruit, pome fruit, citrus, fig and olive. Apricot trees are particularly susceptible with it causing gummosis symptoms. Susceptible ornamental species include oak and poplar trees.


The known distribution of Eutypa dieback in eastern Australia has expanded in recent times as further surveys have been conducted. The disease has been found in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmanian growing regions.

Viticultural regions of the Adelaide Hills, Barossa, McLaren Vale, Riverland, Coonawarra, Central Ranges, Southern NSW, Tamar Valley, Coal River Valley and Derwent Valley have all reported the disease.