Postharvest diseases of pome fruits in Europe: perspectives for integrated control


Abstract: In Western Europe, except for some Mediterranean countries, most economic lossesduring storage of apples are due to Lenticel spot disease (commonly known as “Gloeosporiumrot”) caused by Neofabraea spp., and superficial scald. With a better knowledge ofepidemiological data of Neofabraea alba, it is possible to reinforce the efficacy of the treatments.Nowadays, pre-harvest effective chemicals could be fludioxonil, pyrimethanil, boscalid +pyraclostrobin. Non chemical control is based on hot water postharvest treatment: it has beenshown as very effective not only against both Neofabraea spp. and superficial scald, but alsoagainst Monilia fructigena and Phytophthora spp. Adjunction of formulated clove oil enhancesthe efficacy. Hot water treatment now represents a good alternative to chemical postharvestcontrol and some European companies are selling commercially suitable dipping or drenchingsystems. Penicillium expansum is responsible for decays in storage, mainly from airborneinoculum in cold stores. Sanitation is recommended to avoid infection by Penicillium duringstorage; furthermore, certain antagonistic microorganisms (such as Candida spp.) are effectiveagainst P. expansum, Botrytis cinerea and M. fructigena, and are now allowed in some Europeancountries. With the withdrawal of antioxidants, 1-MCP remains the only available chemical forpostharvest treatment. Its efficacy has been shown against scald, and in addition this productreduces the incidence of several rots. Among the different modified atmospheres, the mosteffective are DCA, ILOS, ULO and extreme ULO. CA with ethylene control could be alsouseful. All the above methods of control are discussed in order to combine limited pre-harvestchemical treatments with alternative methods (integrated control).

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