Postharvest fungal pathogens of peach fruit in Serbia

J. Hrustic, M. Mihajlovic, B. Tanovic
Peach (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch) is an important fruit crop which places Serbia among top five peach-producing countries in Europe. The production is seriously threatened by various plant pathogens that develop in the field during the growing season, as well as after harvest, during storage, shipping and marketing. Postharvest diseases caused by pathogenic fungi could pose significant concerns to producers because of economic losses they can cause, as well as to consumers because of toxic metabolites that they may produce. The aim of the present investigation was to assess the incidence of postharvest fruit rot, as well as to isolate and identify the main postharvest pathogens of peach fruit. During summer in 2021, mature symptomless peach fruit (cultivars ‘Red Haven’ and ‘Royal Glory’) were collected from two representative orchards in the main peach-growing area in Serbia. The fruit samples were individually packed in bags and incubated at room temperature for 10 days. Fruit rot development was observed daily, followed by the isolation of the causal agent from the diseased tissue. Derived isolates were identified based on pathogenic, morphological and molecular features. High level of postharvest fruit rot incidence was recorded, 70% of the fruit from the first and 44.3% from the second orchard. Numerous fungal species, belonging to 10 genera (Rhizopus, Aspergillus, Monilinia, Alternaria, Penicillium, Trichothecium, Fusarium, Botryosphaeria, Mucor, and Epicoccum) were identified. The most harmful pathogens were belonging to Rhizopus spp. that caused severe fruit rot after the incubation of three days. The second group of the most frequently found pathogens was Monilinia spp. Monilinia fructicola, the most destructive well-known peach pathogen was detected in both tested orchards.
Hrustic, J., Mihajlovic, M. and Tanovic, B. (2023). Postharvest fungal pathogens of peach fruit in Serbia. Acta Hortic. 1363, 187-192
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2023.1363.28
peach, Rhizopus, Monilinia, postharvest losses

Acta Horticulturae