Department of Plant Pathology, University of California-Davis, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier 93648
Experiments under controlled environmental conditions were conducted during bloom of prune (Prunus domestica, L.) in 1999 and 2000 to assess the effects of inoculum concentration (IC), wetness duration (WD), temperature, and bloom stages on development of brown rot blossom blight of prunes. Branches from trees of a prune orchard were inoculated with Monilinia fructicola at different bloom stages and incubated at different temperatures with different periods of WD. The proportion of blighted blossoms (PBB) for each inoculated branch was determined. Bloom stage, IC, temperature, and WD significantly affected blossom blight of prunes. PBB at popcorn and full bloom stages was significantly greater than PBB at later bloom stages (P ≤0.05). The optimal temperatures for blossom blight development were 22 to 26°C, and Gaussian functions were used to describe the relationship between PBB and temperature. PBB linearly increased with increased IC. Linear regressions of PBB on WD were obtained for each combination of bloom stage, IC, and temperature. The parameters of these regressions were used in a computer program to produce the possible maximum PBB with 90% probability (PBB90) using stochastic simulations. Early bloom stages with a higher IC at temperatures from 20 to 25°C were associated with more severe blossom blight than late stages with a lower IC at nonoptimal temperatures. Blossom blight did not occur at <10 or >30°C and less than 4-h WD. However, longer than 4-h WD linearly increased incidence of blossom blight. A risk assessment table of blossom blight was produced for different environmental conditions to guide the control of prune brown rot.