Franka Mlikota Gabler,
Bruce E. Mackey, and
Joseph L. Smilanick
First author: Department of Environmental and Crop Science, Marche Polytechnic University, via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy; second author: Institute for Adriatic Crops, Put Duilova 11, 21000 Split, Croatia; third and fifth authors: United States Department of Agriculture--Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center, 9611 South Riverbend Ave. Parlier, CA 93648; and fourth author: Biometrical Services, USDA--ARS, Western Regional Research Center, 800 Buchanan Street, Albany, CA 94710-1105.
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Accepted for publication 22 April 2009.
Chitosan is a natural biopolymer that must be dissolved in an acid solution to activate its antimicrobial and eliciting properties. Among 15 acids tested, chitosan dissolved in 1% solutions of acetic, L-ascorbic, formic, L-glutamic, hydrochloric, lactic, maleic, malic, phosphorous, and succinic acid. To control gray mold, table grape berries were immersed for 10 s in these chitosan solutions that had been adjusted to pH 5.6. The reduction in decay among single berries of several cultivars (Thompson Seedless, Autumn Seedless, and grape selection B36-55) inoculated with Botrytis cinerea at 1 × 105 conidia/ml before or after immersion in chitosan acetate or formate, followed by storage at 15°C for 10 days, was ≈70%. The acids alone at pH 5.6 did not control gray mold. Decay among clusters of two cultivars (Thompson Seedless and Crimson Seedless) inoculated before treatment was reduced ≈60% after immersion in chitosan lactate or chitosan acetate followed by storage for 60 days at 0.5°C. The viscosity of solutions was 1.9 centipoises (cp) (ascorbate) to 306.4 cp (maleicate) and the thickness of chitosan coating on berries was 4.4 μm (acetate) to 15.4 μm (ascorbate), neither of which was correlated with solution effectiveness. Chitosan acetate was the most effective treatment which effectively reduced gray mold at cold and ambient storage temperatures, decreased CO2 and O2 exchange, and did not injure the grape berries.
Additional keywords:carbon dioxide, oxygen, Vitis vinifera.
© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society