- Dr Pierluigi Reveglia from the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre will be awarded the Charles Sturt University Higher Degree by Research Medal for research into Grapevine Trunk Disease.
- A University Medal recognises outstanding academic performance in a student's studies at Charles Sturt and is the highest honour conferred on graduands.
- The research has given new insight into a disease that can reduce productivity and longevity of vineyards.
Research to understand more about a disease that’s a problem for grape growers across the world will be recognised with the Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) Higher Degree by Research University Medal.
Dr Pierluigi Reveglia’s research focused on Botryosphaeria dieback (BD), a type of Grapevine Trunk Disease (GTD) that causes cankers, dieback and eventually death of vines severely impacting the long-term sustainability of vineyards.
Dr Reveglia (pictured) said his research studying the most widespread and virulent species of BD in Australian vineyards was a mix between analytical chemistry, plant pathology and molecular biology.
“In Europe, BD often presents with foliar symptoms. The development of these symptoms is usually associated with phytotoxic metabolites produced by the pathogens,” said Dr Reveglia.
“Prior to my research there was limited information about the phytotoxic metabolites produced by the Australian species causing BD.
“I have isolated and then biologically and chemically characterised different phytotoxins produced by BD pathogens from vineyards in South Australia and NSW.”
The research has also studied the role of these phytotoxic metabolites in the virulence and symptom expression by conducting experiments on artificially-infected and naturally-infected grapevine plants.
Research supervisor, Charles Sturt Associate Professor Sandra Savocchia said the research has provided new information about BD in Australia.
“This multidisciplinary research has given us insight into the role of phytotoxins, paving the way for future research to assist in field diagnosis and control of BD in Australian vineyards,” said Professor Savocchia.
It’s a celebration across two hemispheres for Dr Reveglia, who took part in a Joint Supervision PhD program between Charles Sturt and the University of Naples Federico II (UNINA), splitting his time between Italy and Australia.
“The funniest thing about my travelling between the two hemispheres is that I have been escaping the autumn for the last three years.”
“I admit that it is often difficult to stay away for a long time from the people you care about but here in Wagga Wagga I have found welcoming people, and I feel at home,” said Dr Reveglia.
Dr Reveglia was supervised by Professor Savocchia and Dr Regina Billones-Baaijens from the Charles Sturt School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences and Professor Antonio Evidente from UNINA.
Dr Reveglia’s research was also supported by a scholarship from Wine Australia.
The NWGIC is an alliance between Charles Sturt, the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the NSW Wine Industry Association.