Research into grapevine leafroll disease makes PLOS One top 10 most cited annual papers

Naidu in vineyard
Plant pathologist Naidu Rayapati gives a talk to grape growers at a central Washington vineyard.

Past research by Washington State University plant pathologist Naidu Rayapati earned recognition among most cited papers in the journal PLOS One.

Rayapati, a professor in plant pathology and director of the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, Wash., published “Impacts of Grapevine Leafroll Disease on Fruit Yield and Grape and Wine Chemistry in a Wine Grape (Vitis vinifera L.) Cultivar” in 2016.

Since then, the article has been cited more than 35 times, placing it in the top 10 percent of most-cited papers published that year in PLOS One.

Grapevine leafroll disease (GLD) has plagued vineyards for centuries, but little was known about how this virus impacts the fruit quality and actual wine produced from grapes of affected plants. Researchers from different disciplines at WSU teamed up to examine virus impacts from “vine to wine.” Publishing their results in 2016, they made wines from red grapes from vines with GLD and wines from healthy grapevines to learn the effects of GLD on wine chemistry.

In the final results, wines from GLD-affected grapes had significantly lower alcohol, polymeric pigments and anthocyanins (both are coloring agents in wine) compared to corresponding wines from grapes of non-symptomatic grapevines.

The impacts wound up being more pronounced during cooler growing seasons than in warmer seasons.

“We think that’s because grapes mature much faster in warmer seasons and don’t have as much time to be affected by the virus,” Rayapati said.

Read the original article on PLOS One.