Influence of floral morphology and fruit development on internal fruit rot in bell pepper

M. Frans, R. Aerts, B. Van Calenberge, L. Van Herck, J. Ceusters
In the last decade, internal fruit rot caused primarily by members of the Fusarium lactis species complex and to a lesser extent by F. oxysporum and F. proliferatum, became a major disease in greenhouse grown bell peppers. After infection through the flower, the disease is latent until the green mature stage of the fruit. During the colouring stage, the fungus can start to proliferate on the inside of the fruit as mycelium on the ovary and/or cause necrosis. Nearly all growers are confronted with this problem and average yield losses are estimated at 5% with seasonal peaks up to 20%. Observations by growers suggested differences in susceptibility between pepper cultivars. This study reports and discusses the differences in floral morphology and fruit development of different bell pepper cultivars and their potential correlation with internal fruit rot. To evaluate susceptibility differences between pepper cultivars, the floral morphology of 'Score' and 'E41.9227' was compared by measuring ovary size, the dehiscence of the anther crown and the number of petals. Additionally, longevity of the petals and styles were evaluated in relation to internal fruit rot incidence. To account for the influences of fruit load the number of fruit was also considered in relation to the disease.
Frans, M., Aerts, R., Van Calenberge, B., Van Herck, L. and Ceusters, J. (2016). Influence of floral morphology and fruit development on internal fruit rot in bell pepper. Acta Hortic. 1144, 199-206
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1144.29
Fusarium lactis, Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium proliferatum, Capsicum annuum

Acta Horticulturae