Grapes (Vitis vinifera) infected by grey mould, Botrytis cinerea. The picture shows (centre, foreground) grapes that are discoloured and misshapen due to the presence of B. cinerea, visible on the surface as patches of grey particles (conidiophores). The fruits in the background are healthy.B. cinerea a widespread pathogenic Ascomycete fungus that causes a variety of stem and leaf rots; it is a serious pest of strawberries.Its effect on grapes varies. In an enclosed space such as a greenhouse (here), the infection is entirely deleterious, rendering the fruit inedible, and by spread, leading to total destruction of bunches. In outdoor vineyards in dry ripening conditions the fungus can cause shrivelling, which increases the sugar content of the grapes. This allows the production of prized sweet wines, such as Sauternes and Tokay. In such conditions the mould is known as "The Noble Rot".
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