Botrytis cinerea Decay in Apples Is Inhibited by Postharvest Heat and Calcium Treatments

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Agricultural Research Organisation—The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
  • 2 Horticultural Crops Quality Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD 20705
  • 3 Department of Plant and Soil Science, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901

`Golden Delicious' apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) were treated after harvest with heat (air at 38 °C for 4 days or 42 °C for 1 day) or 2% CaCl2 (w/v; applied as a dip or pressure-infiltrated) or a combination of the two and stored at 0 °C for ≤6 months. Decay caused by Botrytis cinerea Pers.:Fr. after inoculation to a depth of 2 mm with a conidial suspension virtually was eliminated in stored fruit heated at 38 °C, regardless of Ca treatment. Apples punctured to a depth of 0.5 mm (but not 2 mm) and inoculated with B. cinerea on removal from storage were almost completely protected from poststorage decay if they had previously been pressure-infiltrated with 2% CaCl2, regardless of the heat regime. Heating fruit at 42 °C and dipping in 2% CaCl2 were only partially effective in preventing decay from either pre- or poststorage inoculations. Fruit firmness was not related to resistance to decay.

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