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Effects of Wounding, Inoculum Density, and Biological Control Agents on Postharvest Brown Rot of Stone Fruits

November 1998 , Volume 82 , Number  11
Pages  1,210 - 1,216

Chuanxue Hong and Themis J. Michailides , University of California Davis, Department of Plant Pathology, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier 93648 ; and Brent A. Holtz , University of California Cooperative Extension, Madera 93637

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Accepted for publication 23 July 1998.

The effects of wounding, inoculum density, and three isolates (New, Ta291, and 23-E-6) of Trichoderma spp. and one isolate (BI-54) of Rhodotorula sp. on postharvest brown rot of stone fruits were determined at 20°C and 95% relative humidity (RH). Brown rot was observed frequently on wounded nectarine, peach, and plum fruits inoculated with two spores of Monilinia fructicola per wound, and occasionally on unwounded nectarine and peach fruits inoculated with the same spore load. Brown rot was observed on wounded plums only. A substantial increase in lesion diameter of brown rot was also recorded on wounded nectarines and peaches inoculated with suspensions of ≤20 spores and ≤200 spores per wound, respectively, compared with unwounded fruit. At concentrations of 107 and 108 spores per ml, all Trichoderma isolates substantially reduced brown rot on peaches (63 to 98%) and plums (67 to 100%) when fruits were inoculated with M. fructicola following the application of a biological control agent. Similarly, at 108 spores per ml, the yeast BI-54 also suppressed brown rot on peaches completely and on plums by 54%. Significant brown rot reduction was also achieved with the isolate New at a concentration of 108 spores per ml, even when the biocontrol agent was applied 12 h after inoculation with M. fructicola and under continuous conditions of 95% RH. The isolates Ta291 and 23-E-6 also reduced brown rot significantly under drier (50% RH) incubation conditions. These isolates provided the best control of brown rot on plums when they were applied 12 h earlier than inoculation with M. fructicola. Satisfactory control of brown rot on plums inoculated with M. fructicola at 8 × 104 spores per ml was achieved with New at 106 spores per ml and with Ta291 at 107 spores per ml. Measures taken to avoid injuring fruit will greatly reduce brown rot of stone fruit at any spore load for plum, but only at ≤50 spores per mm2 for peach, and at ≤5 spores per mm2 for nectarine. This study identifies two isolates (Ta291 and New) of Trichoderma atroviride, one isolate (23-E-6) of T. viride, and one of Rhodotorula sp. that show potential for further development as biocontrol agents of postharvest brown rot of stone fruits.

Additional keywords: incubation period, infection efficiency, Prunus

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society