Etiology of fungal decay during the controlled atmosphere storage of Fuji and Gala apples under commercial conditions
Storage decay is the primary cause of postharvest losses in integrated apple production worldwide. At harvest, fruit can appear free from infection but develop symptoms later during long-term storage, making treatment and prediction of fungal growth during storage challenging. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the etiology of fungal decay symptoms during storage under a controlled atmosphere (CA). Commercial data of disease incidences over 17-years were collated and analyzed. Fuji and Gala fruit were grown between 2002 and 2018 in commercial orchards in southern Brazil. The orchards represented a warm growing site with a low altitude and a cold growing site with a higher altitude. Decay assessments were performed every month for eight months. Results showed that total disease incidence increased as the storage duration increased. Storage decay was primarily caused by Neofabraea spp. (bulls eye rot), followed by Penicillium spp. (blue mold) and Botrytis spp. (gray mold). Fuji apples had higher incidences of decay during CA-storage than Gala due to higher incidences of Alternaria spp. and Fusarium spp. (moldy core rot). For both cultivars, fruit from the warm site had higher incidences of bulls eye rot than fruit from the cold site. For Fuji, fruit from the warm site had higher incidences of moldy core rot than fruit from the cold site. There was an increasing trend in disease incidence for both cultivars and growing sites over the 17-year study. However, the yearly increase in disease incidence was more prominent for the warm site. For both locations, high incidences of storage rot occurred when high average temperatures occurred concurrently with high annual rainfall.
Wood, R.M., Argenta, L.C., Vieira, M.J., Ogoshi, C. and Neuwald, D.A. (2023). Etiology of fungal decay during the controlled atmosphere storage of Fuji and Gala apples under commercial conditions. Acta Hortic. 1363, 9-16
Malus × domestica Borkh., Neofabraea spp., postharvest disease, storage rot