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Characterization of the Bull's Eye Rot of Apple in Chile

April 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  4
Pages  485 - 490

Sylvana Soto-Alvear , Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA) CRI-La Platina, Casilla 439-3, Santiago, Chile and Facultad Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad de Talca, Casilla 747-721, Talca, Chile ; Mauricio Lolas , Facultad Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad de Talca ; Inés M. Rosales , Facultad de Agronomía e Ingeniería Forestal, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 306-22, Santiago, Chile ; Eduardo R. Chávez , Departamento Laboratorios y Estaciones Cuarentenarias, Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero de Chile, SAG, Casilla 4088, Santiago, Chile ; and Bernardo A. Latorre , Facultad de Agronomía e Ingeniería Forestal, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

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Accepted for publication 9 October 2012.

Apple fruit in Chile are primarily produced for export to Asia, Europe, and the United States, which typically requires 15 to 40 days of maritime transportation. Therefore, Chilean apple production must fulfill the sanitization requirements imposed by the receiving countries. Under these circumstances, it was important to clarify the etiology of bull's eye rot that can severely affect ‘Cripps Pink’ apple and other late-harvest cultivars in Chile. Based on morphological characteristics and the partial sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer sequences and β-tubulin genes, Neofabraea alba was identified as the causal agent of the bull's eye rot of Chilean apple. These results were further corroborated using species-specific primers. The incidence of bull's eye rot varied considerably; for instance, in 2009, 0.0 to 58.7% in 38 Cripps Pink orchards surveyed in the relatively arid and humid apple-growing areas of Chile, respectively. There was no evidence for the presence of N. malicorticis or N. perennans, which are commonly identified as causal agents of bull's eye rot in other apple-producing countries. Altogether, these data suggest that N. alba might represent the predominant and possibly the only cause of bull's-eye rot of Chilean apple.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society