Phylloxera insects on a vine root

Phylloxera insects on a vine root

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This image is part of the feature Most feared pests in agriculture


Caption: Grape phylloxera insects (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae) covering the roots of a grape vine (Vitis sp.). Larvae and eggs can also be seen. This pest lives on the roots of the plant and sucks the sap from the grapevine, weakening and sometimes killing it. Phylloxera is native to North America, where some grape varieties are naturally resistant to it but produce lower quality wines. Phylloxera tends to attack the vines that produce the best flavoured wines. The solution is to graft non-resistant varieties to the roots of resistant ones, giving a relatively resistant plant with a higher quality grape flavour.

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