Sustainable Botrytis disease management in Rubus

T. Vanwalleghem, T. Smets, C.I. Mata, W. Van Hemelrijck, M. Holtappels, T. Beliën, A. Geeraerd Ameryckx, V. Ieremia, F. Michiels, N. Demaître, M. Boonen, D. Bylemans
Raspberry and blackberry are fruits associated with health benefits, of which production and commercialization keep growing every year in Europe. Unfortunately, shelf life of these fruits is short, which limits the salability. Moreover, freshness is the most important characteristic for the consumers to buy these products. Several pathogens and pests can impair freshness and shelf life of these products, including Botrytis cinerea, which is one of the most predominant fungal pathogens of raspberries and blackberries. Due to the small acreage of these fruits compared to other fruits (e.g., apple and pear) and less standardized growing conditions (various kinds of protection structures), less knowledge regarding control strategies for these pathogens is available, which often results in excessive and unsustainable fungicide treatments. The aim of this project is to identify the key periods and parameters leading to infections of B. cinerea in raspberry and blackberry. This will help fruit growers improve and implement treatment schedules by making them more disease targeted. The most critical factors for infections with B. cinerea were studied, including temperature and relative humidity. These parameters were correlated with phenological development and the presence of inoculum. Next, this knowledge was used to create infection risk models to identify crucial moments for fungicide treatments against B. cinerea in open air, under rain shields, and inside warehouses and greenhouses. In addition, the efficacy of different biological and alternative products towards B. cinerea fruit rot was tested. The preliminary results showed that some biological products have the potential to be integrated into disease management strategies. The final goal of this project was to develop and implement an adapted, IPM-based, disease management strategy that considers infection risks and aims to have the least residues present at harvest, while avoiding resistance build up by using biological or alternative products.
Vanwalleghem, T., Smets, T., Mata, C.I., Van Hemelrijck, W., Holtappels, M., Beliën, T., Geeraerd Ameryckx, A., Ieremia, V., Michiels, F., Demaître, N., Boonen, M. and Bylemans, D. (2024). Sustainable Botrytis disease management in Rubus. Acta Hortic. 1388, 223-230
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2024.1388.34
raspberry, blackberry, infection models, IPM, biological and alternative products

Acta Horticulturae