Fengping Chen, and
Guido Schnabel, School of Agricultural, Forestry & Life Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634
Chemical control of gray mold of strawberry caused by Botrytis cinerea is essential to prevent pre- and postharvest fruit decay. For more than 10 years, the anilinopyrimidine (AP) cyprodinil and the phenylpyrrole fludioxonil (Switch 62.5WG) have been available to commercial strawberry producers in the United States for gray mold control. Both active ingredients are site-specific inhibitors and, thus, prone to resistance development. In this study, 217 single-spore isolates of B. cinerea from 11 commercial strawberry fields in North and South Carolina were examined for sensitivity to both fungicides. Isolates that were sensitive (53%), moderately resistant (30%), or resistant (17%) to cyprodinil were identified based on germ tube inhibition at discriminatory doses of cyprodinil at 1 and 25 mg/liter at 10 of the 11 locations. None of the isolates was fludioxonil resistant. Phenotypes that were moderately resistant or resistant to cyprodinil were not associated with fitness penalties for mycelial growth rate, spore production, or osmotic sensitivity. Detached fruit assays demonstrated cross resistance between the two AP fungicides cyprodinil and pyrimethanil, and that isolates that were characterized in vitro as moderately resistant or resistant were equivalent in pathogenicity on fruit sprayed with pyrimethanil (currently the only AP registered in strawberry as a solo formulation). This suggests that the in vitro distinction of moderately resistant and resistant isolates is of little if any field relevance. The absence of cross-resistance with fludioxonil, iprodione, cycloheximide, and tolnaftate indicated that multidrug resistance in the form of multidrug resistance phenotypes was unlikely to be involved in conferring resistance to APs in our isolates. Implications for resistance management and disease control are discussed.