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Toxicity and Resistance Potential of Selected Fungicides to Galactomyces and Penicillium spp. Causing Postharvest Fruit Decays of Citrus and Other Crops

January 2012 , Volume 96 , Number  1
Pages  87 - 96

A. H. McKay, H. Förster, and J. E. Adaskaveg, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, University of California, Riverside 92521

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Accepted for publication 18 August 2011.

A diverse collection of isolates of Galactomyces citri-aurantii and G. geotrichum, the causal pathogens of sour rots of citrus and other fruit crops, respectively, was evaluated for sensitivity to demethylation-inhibiting (DMI) fungicides of the triazole group. Propiconazole was found to be highly effective in reducing mycelial growth of both species in vitro. For 139 isolates of G. citri-aurantii, a mean effective concentration for 50% reduction of mycelial growth (EC50 value) of 0.34 μg/ml was determined; whereas, for 33 isolates of G. geotrichum, this value was 0.14 μg/ml. In a comparison of additional DMI fungicides, mean EC50 values for 60 isolates of G. citri-aurantii and 20 isolates of G. geotrichum, were 0.27 and 0.17 μg/ml for cyproconazole, 0.25 and 0.14 μg/ml for metconazole, and 1.16 and 0.73 μg/ml for tebuconazole, respectively. Propiconazole was also highly active against mycelial growth of imazalil-sensitive isolates of Penicillium digitatum, the pathogen that causes green mold of citrus, with a mean EC50 value of 0.008 μg/ml for 63 isolates. Imazalil-resistant isolates of this fungus were cross-resistant to propiconazole. When G. citri-aurantii and P. digitatum were grown at selected pH values between 3 and 9, inhibition by propiconazole occurred over the entire pH range. The fungicide was most effective at pH 5 when compared with the non-fungicide-amended control grown at the same pH. In laboratory mass platings of single-spore isolates sensitive to propiconazole onto selective media, isolates with an up to 81.6-fold decrease in sensitivity to the fungicide were recovered for P. digitatum. For G. geotrichum, isolates with an approximately twofold decrease in sensitivity were obtained. No isolates with reduced sensitivity were recovered for G. citri-aurantii. Propiconazole is currently being registered for postharvest use on citrus and other crops, and the information provided will be valuable in monitoring of fungicide resistance and in designing effective fungicide application strategies.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society