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Control of Blue Mold of Apples by Preharvest Application of Candida sake Grown in Media with Different Water Activity

September 1998 , Volume 88 , Number  9
Pages  960 - 964

N. Teixidó , I. Viñas , J. Usall , and N. Magan

First, second, and third authors: Postharvest Unit, CeRTA, Centre UdL-IRTA, 177 Rovira Roure Avenue, 25198, Lleida, Spain; and fourth author: Applied Mycology Group, Biotechnology Centre, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedford MK43 0AL, United Kingdom

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Accepted for publication 29 May 1998.

Unmodified and low water activity (aw)-tolerant cells of Candida sake CPA-1 applied before harvest were compared for ability to control blue mold of apples (‘Golden Delicious’) caused by Penicillium expansum under commercial storage conditions. The population dynamics of strain CPA-1 on apples were studied in the orchard and during storage following application of 3 × 106 CFU/ml of each treatment 2 days prior to harvest. In the field, the population size of the unmodified treatment remained relatively unchanged, while the population size of the low-aw-modified CPA-1 cells increased. During cold storage, the populations in both treatments increased from 103 to 105 CFU/g of apple after 30 days, and then declined to about 2.5 × 104 CFU/g of apple. In laboratory studies, the low-aw-tolerant cells provided significantly better disease control as compared with the unmodified cells and reduced the number of infected wounds and lesion size by 75 and 90%, respectively, as compared with the non-treated controls. After 4 months in cold storage, both unmodified and low-aw-tolerant cells of C. sake were equally effective against P. expansum on apple (>50% reduction in size of infected wounds).

Additional keywords: compatible solutes , ecophysiology , growth , postharvest diseases , sugars , sugar alcohols .

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society