This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol3", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
This disease is met with most frequently on Gooseberry bushes, although it sometimes occurs also on Black- and Red-currant bushes. The first indication that something is going wrong is the wilting or yellowing of the leaves, which commence to fall early in the season. This condition of things may continue for two or three years before the bush dies. Sometimes only a single branch shows these symptoms, when a careful examination of the lowest portion of the branch will reveal the presence of numerous short, transverse, gaping cracks, 1 to 2 lines in length, each crack being filled with a jet-black substance, which is the fruit of the fungus. If only a single branch is attacked it should be cut away as close as possible to the part from which it springs. Burn the diseased part that is cut off. If the whole bush shows signs of wilting it is doomed, and should be removed and burned, as a cure is impossible; and it is not only waste time, but endangering neighbouring bushes, to allow an infected bush to remain, as the mycelium of the fungus is deeply embedded in the tissues of the bush some time before it shows the first signs of wilting.
The fungus is a wound parasite, and probably the spores often gain an entrance into the tissues through wounds made by aphides (green fly) or scale insects. [g. m.]