First and third authors: Department of Entomology, Soils, and Plant Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634; second author: University of Debrecen, Centre for Agricultural Sciences and Engineering P.O. Box 36, H-4015 Debrecen, Hungary & Plant Protection Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 102, H-1525 Budapest, Hungary.
Isolation of Monilinia spp. from stone and pome fruit surfaces is difficult due to the presence of several fast-growing fungal species such as Rhizopus, Alternaria, and Penicillium spp. Therefore, a new selective medium (acidified potato dextrose agar [pH 3.6] amended with fosetyl-aluminum [fosetyl-AL] at 500 μg/ml) (APDA-F500) was developed for the recovery of Monilinia propagules. The antifungal agents fosetyl-Al, dichloran, ammonium molybdate, and 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-dD-glucose) were tested in potato dextrose agar (PDA) for their selective activity against Monilinia fructicola and seven common fungal contaminants of peach, including Alternaria alternata, Aspergillus niger, Colletotrichum acutatum, Gilbertella persicaria, Penicillium expansum, Phomopsis amygdali, and Rhizopus stolonifer. Dichloran, ammonium molybdate, and 2-dD-glucose inhibited spore germination and mycelial growth of all test fungi, including M. fructicola, at comparable levels. Fosetyl-Al added to PDA (PDA-F) at 500 or 1,000 μg/ml did not inhibit germination of any of the fungi but had a strong effect on mycelial growth of six of eight test fungi at 1,000 μg/ml, with the exceptions being R. stolonifer and M. fructicola. Germination and mycelial growth of M. fructicola were least affected on APDA-F500 compared with the other test fungi. On APDA-F500 at pH 3.2 and 3.6, germination of M. fructicola was not inhibited but mycelial growth was reduced by 54.2 and 24.2%, respectively. In all, 17 M. fructicola, 6 M. fructigena, and 6 M. laxa isolates collected from different geographic locations and diverse hosts were evaluated for their germination and mycelial growth on APDA-F500 (at pH 3.6). Germination was not inhibited for any isolate and relative mycelial growth was 45.8 to 83.3%. Field-grown peach fruit from South Carolina and Hungary and plum fruit from Hungary were used to test the selectivity of APDA-F500 for the recovery of three Monilinia spp. compared with PDA-F500 and Monilinia selective medium (MSM) previously developed for Monilinia spp. detection. Percent recovery of M. fructicola from South Carolinian peach fruit was highest on APDA-F500 (0, 17, and 69% in June, July, and August, respectively) compared with PDA-F500 (0, 3.5, and 50%, respectively) and MSM (0, 0, and 6.8%, respectively). Moreover, APDA-F500 selectively recovered M. fructigena and M. laxa propagules from the surfaces of Hungarian peach and plum fruit. Our results indicate that APDA-F500 is a useful medium for selective isolation and enumeration of the three most common Monilinia spp. attacking stone fruits worldwide.