Alternative means to control postharvest blue mould decay of 'Rocha' pears

C. Sánchez, M.M. Ferreira-Pinto, M. Santos, P. Vasilenko, O. Matos
Although the very good capacity of conservation of the Portuguese 'Rocha' pear cultivar, postharvest rots during transport and cold storage can occur. Fungal diseases affecting pome fruits are responsible for limiting storage period and for considerable economic impact in fruit-producing countries. Synthetic fungicides traditionally used in managing the postharvest decay present health and environmental risks and make necessary a shift towards safer and more eco-friendly alternatives. This work reports in vivo assays performed using Origanum vulgare, Mentha pulegium and Satureja montana for controlling Penicillium expansum, responsible for blue mold decay in 'Rocha' pear. Artificially wounded pears were inoculated with the pathogen and treated with different concentrations of the plant extracts and essential oils. M. pulegium, O. vulgare and S. montana essential oils preliminary tests showed interesting antifungal effectiveness under shelf-life conditions; however, more studies are needed in order to confirm their antifungal activity during long-term cold storage of pears. In curative or prophylactic treatments, a dose dependent reduction of disease incidence was observed. Studies with caprilic acid, extracted from O. vulgare were improved due to its satisfactory antifungal efficacy and safety to control the LSQUORochaRSQUO pears P. expansum infections.
Sánchez, C., Ferreira-Pinto, M.M., Santos, M., Vasilenko, P. and Matos, O. (2016). Alternative means to control postharvest blue mould decay of 'Rocha' pears. Acta Hortic. 1144, 365-370
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1144.54
aromatic plants, plant-derived antifungal compounds, Penicillium expansum, Aureobasidium pullulans, postharvest diseases control, biocontrol

Acta Horticulturae