Department of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences, Marche Polytechnic University, 60131 Ancona, Italy
United States Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center, Parlier, CA 93648
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences, Marche Polytechnic University
Department of Viticulture and Enology, California State University, Fresno, CA 93740
USDA-ARS San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center, Parlier, CA 93648
Potassium sorbate, a program of four fungicides, or one of three chitosan formulations were applied to clusters of ‘Thompson Seedless’ grape berries at berry set, pre-bunch closure, veraison, and 2 or 3 weeks before harvest. After storage at 2°C for 6 weeks, the natural incidence of postharvest gray mold was reduced by potassium sorbate, the fungicide program, or both together in a tank mixture, in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, the experiment was repeated with three chitosan products (OII-YS, Chito Plant, and Armour-Zen) added. Chitosan or fungicide treatments significantly reduced the natural incidence of postharvest gray mold among grape berries. Berries harvested from vines treated by two of the chitosan treatments or the fungicide program had fewer infections after inoculation with Botrytis cinerea conidia. None harmed berry quality and all increased endochitinase activity. Chitosan decreased berry hydrogen peroxide content. One of the chitosan formulations increased quercetin, myricetin, and resveratrol content of the berry skin. In another experiment, ‘Princess Seedless’ grape treated with one of several fungicides before 4 or 6 weeks of cold storage had less decay than the control. Fenhexamid was markedly superior to the other fungicides for control of both the incidence and spread of gray mold during storage.