CONTROL OF DECAY IN CAPRIFIGS AND CALIMYRNA FIGS WITH FUNGICIDES
Fungal decay of figs can result in extensive losses for the grower. Two major fruit diseases of figs in California are endosepsis (caused by Fusarium moniliforme) and fig smut (caused by Aspergillus niger). Processors have major difficulties in removing all of the figs decayed by fungi because most infections are inside the fruit. Therefore, preharvest methods of reducing fungal decay of figs are important. Caprifigs can suffer severely from fig endosepsis, which subsequently is transferred to Smyrna-type figs by the pollinator fig wasp (Blastophaga psenes). Early in the 1990s, we developed several techniques (two-step sanitation, spraying fungicides instead of dipping caprifigs, and biocontrol) that reduced endosepsis in caprifigs. Despite all these improvements, endosepsis continues to be the major decay problem of caprifigs. Fortunately, pesticide companies have begun to produce several new classes of fungicides, which have proven very effective against fungal diseases in other crops. However, there are no data on the effects of some of these fungicides on endosepsis in caprifigs. The objective of this research was to determine the effects of new fungicides on endosepsis of caprifigs. In 2000, all of the new fungicides tested reduced endosepsis in winter (mamme) caprifigs compared to the untreated controls. Fludioxonil and tebuconazole did not significantly differ in control of endosepsis from the standard commercial treatment of thiophanate-methyl + chlorothalonil + dicloran; however, azoxystrobin did not reduce endosepsis. The methods of applying the fungicides, spraying or dipping, did not significantly differ in their effectiveness in reducing endosepsis. In 2001, propiconazole, tebuconazole, cyprodinil, and fludioxonil reduced endosepsis to levels similar to that of the standard commercial treatment, but again azoxystrobin was less effective than the other fungicides. Several of these new fungicides show promise as alternatives to the standard fungicide treatment of caprifigs for controlling endosepsis.
Michailides, T.J., Morgan, D.P., Felts, D. and Doster, M.A. (2008). CONTROL OF DECAY IN CAPRIFIGS AND CALIMYRNA FIGS WITH FUNGICIDES. Acta Hortic. 798, 269-275
Blastophaga psenes, caprification, chemical control, Ficus carica, pollination