The influence of potassium alum, sodium bicarbonate, and chlorine treatments on banana's crown rot disease progress

M. Kamel, P. Cortesi, M. Saracchi
Crown rot is a post-harvest fungal disease causing significant negative impact on fruit quality. The infection mainly occurs by different etiological agents at harvest time but the symptoms appear 10-14 days later, usually after overseas transportation. The use of synthetic fungicides to control this disease is frequently restricted and regulated in banana farming, therefore it is necessary to find safe alternatives to fungicides that can reduce the incidence under acceptable threshold levels. The effect of potassium alum, sodium bicarbonate and chlorine on crown rot disease progress was assessed on organic bananas against some pathogen strains. Mycelium and conidia of strains belonging to the main fungal species identified as etiological agents of crown rot in the Dominican Republic were assessed in vitro for germination and growth against different concentrations of the substances to report their activity as fungicidal/fungistatic on artificial media and crown tissues. Results obtained correspond to those reported in disease incidence, whereby the alum mainly acts as fungistatic, the chlorine was fungicidal, and sodium bicarbonate didn't demonstrate any effect on conidia germination at the tested concentration. In packing stations, 240 hands of normally harvested green bananas were used immediately after the second washing bath in three separate treatments: 1) alum as normally adopted in packing stations, 2) 5 g L-1 of sodium bicarbonate in water, and 3) 3 ppm chlorine in water. The results showed significant differences between the different treatments. Sodium bicarbonate improved the infections causing highest disease incidence of 81%, followed by alum with 23% in comparison to the control that showed 19% of symptomatic bananas. In contrast, no symptomatic fruits were present among bananas treated with chlorine.
Kamel, M., Cortesi, P. and Saracchi, M. (2018). The influence of potassium alum, sodium bicarbonate, and chlorine treatments on banana's crown rot disease progress. Acta Hortic. 1196, 247-254
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1196.30
post-harvest disease, protective treatment, sodium bicarbonate, potassium alum, crown tissue, Dominican Republic

Acta Horticulturae