Exploration of microbial communities associated with fruitlet core rot (FCR) disease in 'Queen' pineapple from Reunion Island

M. Hoarau, J. De Stefano, L. Filippi, B. Barral, M. Chillet, J.-C. Meile
In Reunion Island, 'Queen' pineapple is considered as a major fruit crop. The production of this crop is facing losses due to several diseases, including Fruitlet Core Rot (FCR), a postharvest disease that develops in pineapple upon maturity. FCR disease has a significant impact on both local and export markets because there are no visible external symptoms at harvest time. The cause of this disease is mainly due to the development of phytopathogenic fungal species (such as Talaromyces funiculosus and Fusarium ananatum) in the fruitlets that cause black spot in the fruit flesh. The occurrence of FCR disease can be linked to different parameters, such as climatic conditions, agricultural practices and fruit composition. However, the causes of fungal development in the fruitlets remain poorly understood. Pineapple fruitlets could be colonized by a variety of microbial (bacterial and fungal) communities but their role in FCR disease development has not been investigated yet; this is why we decided to explore microbial communities associated with pineapple fruitlets. For this purpose, molecular microbiology techniques were used to study and identify the different microbial communities present in healthy and diseased fruitlets. The study was performed on about 126 fruitlet samples originating from 20 production sites with various climatic conditions (altitude, humidity, rainfall) and agricultural practices in Reunion Island. We aimed at linking production factors to variations in microbial communities and identifying microbial markers associated with FCR disease. The data obtained from bacterial and fungal communities, as well as candidates for microbial markers of the FCR disease, will be presented and discussed.
Hoarau, M., De Stefano, J., Filippi, L., Barral, B., Chillet, M. and Meile, J.-C. (2021). Exploration of microbial communities associated with fruitlet core rot (FCR) disease in 'Queen' pineapple from Reunion Island. Acta Hortic. 1325, 285-292
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1325.41
pineapple, fruitlet core rot, fungal disease, microbial communities, Reunion Island, 'Queen' cultivar

Acta Horticulturae