Rutgers University, Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension Center, Lake Oswego Road, Chatsworth, NJ 08019
A survey was conducted over a 3-year period to determine the frequencies and distributions of fruit-rotting fungi in New Jersey cranberry beds. In the first 2 years of the study, Physalospora vaccinii and Glomerella cingulata were the most prevalent and widespread field-rotting fungi. In the third year, the frequency of G. cingulata declined markedly. Other species such as Coleophoma empetri, Phyllosticta vaccinii, and Phomopsis vaccinii were isolated at high frequencies from a limited number of locations. Storage-rotting fungi including Allantophomopsis cytisporea and A. lycopodina were isolated at low frequencies, but were widely distributed within the growing region. On sound fruit, a somewhat different profile emerged. Fungi such as Phyllosticta elongata, Alternaria spp., and Physalospora vaccinii were commonly isolated. In comparisons among different cranberry cultivars, no differences in the fungal profiles were seen. This was interpreted to indicate that if differences in fruit-rot resistance exist, they are likely to be general forms of resistance rather than fungal species-specific mechanisms.