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Poster: Biology & Disease Mgmt: Integrated Pest Mgmt


Monitoring pomegranate pathogens towards developing effective disease management program
A. KC (1), G. Vallad (1) (1) University of Florida, U.S.A.

Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is becoming a popular alternative crop in the Southeastern United States due to its nutritional benefit and emerging production potential in the area. Studies were conducted in 2015 to monitor pathogens prevalence from bud break to fruit maturity. Buds were collected from late January through March from three locations in Florida, two in Georgia, and one in South Carolina and were divided into six different stages from an unopened flower bud to fruit initials. The first, second and third stage buds were cut into halves whereas fourth, fifth, and sixth stages were cut into six longitudinal sections and were individually plated in V8 agar media and incubated at 21o C. Plates were monitored daily and the pathogen was identified based on morphology. Three orchards in Central Florida were also monitored every other week from late February to August and samples were collected to monitor pathogen prevalence. Several pathogens were recovered in the absence of any symptoms during the bud stages. The first symptoms observed on fruits were anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum sp. With increasing precipitation, the disease spread leading to spotting and blighting of leaves, stems and fruits. Further disease development, including the blighting of shoots and fruit mummification became more prevalent towards the mid to late season and was caused by combination of several pathogens.