An experimental formulation based on copper oxychloride and gluconates, which is able to penetrate vine foliar tissue, was tested for wood treatment against some of the fungi involved in the diseases included in the esca disease complex. In vitro trials were carried out to: i) test the effect of the formulation on the mycelial growth rate of Phaeomoniella chlamydospora (Pch), Phaeoacremonium aleophilum (Pal) and Fomitiporia mediterranea (Fmed), and on the conidial germination of Pch and Pal; and ii) conduct a preliminary investigation of the presence of the copper formulation on the ability of Pal to produce toxic metabolites.
Trials were also conducted on potted vines to i) measure copper penetration into the trunk of potted vines using atomic absorption spectrophotometry; and ii) test the effect of the copper formulation on colonization of the fungus in trunks. Finally, the copper formulation was field-tested in vineyards showing leaf stripe. The implications of the tests in the control of the esca disease complex are discussed.