Stored apples and pears are subject to blue and gray mold decay incited by Penicillium expansum and Botrytis cinerea respectively. Hexanal, a C6 carbon aldehyde, used as a vapor provided effective control of both blue and gray molds in laboratory experiments on apple slices. A preliminary trial with ‘Anjou’ pears in bins showed that hexanal was not corrosive and could reduce gray mold in pears stored for 7 months. However details on the correct procedure for fumigating pome fruit were lacking, and further studies were needed to develop a reliable fumigation strategy. In trials with inoculated fruit, hexanal inactivated conidia of B. cinerea contaminating the pear surface when used at a rate of 2 mg·L−1 for 24 hours or 4 mg·L−1 for 18 hours. It was less effective on ‘Gala’ apples inoculated with conidia of P. expansum, but reduced blue mold decay to low levels at 15 ºC. On the other hand, hexanal increased gray and blue molds when used after wounds were made in inoculated fruit. The use of a preharvest treatment with cyprodinil (0.62 g·L−1) reduced both blue and gray molds in wounds with or without hexanal fumigation. Thus a strategy for controlling postharvest decay was developed by which fruit were treated 2 weeks before harvest with cyprodinil, followed by fumigation with hexanal immediately after harvest. The use of this strategy on ‘Anjou’ pears produced the highest number of mold-free fruit in 2003 and the least amount of gray and blue mold decay in 2003 and 2004 on pears stored for 4 months. Wounded apples only developed 1% rot compared with 10% in the control, indicating that hexanal fumigation of stored apples reduced contamination. Monitoring hexanal during fumigation showed that hexanal concentration declined slowly over a 24-hour period and could accurately be described by a third-order polynomial equation. Hexanal fumigation at low rates (2–3 mg·L−1) was not phytotoxic and improved aroma in ‘Anjou’ pears and ‘Gala’ apples with no harmful effects on apple or pear firmness, pH, titratable acidity, or soluble solids.
Vapors of several common vinegars containing 4.2% to 6.0% (= 2.5 to 3.6 mol·L-1) acetic acid effectively prevented conidia of brown rot [Monilinia fructicola (G. Wint.) Honey], gray mold (Botrytis cinerea Pers.:Fr.), and blue mold (Penicillium expansum Link) from germinating and causing decay of stone fruit (Prunus sp.), strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa Duchesne), and apples (Malus ×domestica Borkh.), respectively. Fruit were fumigated in 12.7-L sealed containers in which vinegar was dripped on to filter paper wicks or vaporized by heating from an aluminum receptacle. Vapor from 1.0 mL of red wine vinegar (6.0% acetic acid) reduced decay by M. fructicola on `Sundrop' apricots (Prunus armeniaca L.) from 100% to 0%. Similarly, vapor from 1.0 mL of white vinegar (5.0% acetic acid) reduced decay in strawberries by B. cinerea from 50% to 1.4%. Eight different vinegars, ranging from 4.2% to 6.0% acetic acid, of which 0.5 mL of each vinegar was heat-vaporized, reduced decay by P. expansum to 1% or less in `Jonagold' apples. The volume of heat-vaporized white vinegar (5.0% acetic acid) necessary to reduce decay by P. expansum on `Jonagold' apples to zero was 36.6 μL·L-1 of air. Increasing the number of conidia on the apple surface reduced the effectiveness of vinegar vapor. The number of lesions caused by P. expansum on `McIntosh' apple decreased exponentially with increasing time of fumigation, approaching zero after about 6 hours. These results suggest that vinegar vapor could be an effective alternative to liquid biocides such as sodium hypochlorite for sterilization of surfaces contaminated by conidia of fungal pathogens.
There is very little information on the interaction of wine grape microflora with fungicides used to control grape diseases. The objective of this study was to determine how fungicides used in a standard grape pest management program and an experimental clay being developed for control of powdery mildew affect grape microflora. Grape leaves and fruit were surveyed for bacteria, fungi and yeast six times over the growing season in 2000 after treatment with clay or fungicides. In 2001 only clay was studied for control of powdery mildew in `Chancellor' grapes. The total number of propagules present on untreated leaf and fruit tissue were 76% bacteria, 14% yeast, and 9% fungi. Fungicides used for grape disease control significantly reduced epiphytic fungi (P < 0.0001), bacteria (P = 0.03), and yeast (P = 0.0001) on grape berries and epiphytic fungi (P < 0.0001), and yeast (P = 0.03) on leaves. The clay treatment had no detectable effect on grape microflora because no significant differences were recorded between clay or untreated grape berries or leaves on any of the sampling dates. Over the growing season the fungicide spray program reduced incidence and severity of powdery mildew better than clay. Clay controlled powdery mildew on `Chancellor' fruit in 2000 and 2001.
Fumigation with glacial acetic acid (AA) vapor successfully kills post-harvest pathogens on tree fruits and berries and reduces their spoilage in storage. In this study, we investigated whether a similar approach could be implemented to eradicate diapausing larvae of the codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.), from fruit harvest bins they commonly infest. In 24-h tests conducted in 0.023-m3 fumigation chambers using two concentrations of vaporized AA [117,360 and 174,823 cumulative parts per million-hours (ppm-h)], mortality of diapausing larvae was 81% and 100%, respectively. A similar 24-h exposure to a 61,940 cumulative ppm-h treatment of AA caused no mortality. A 24-h fumigation of diapausing codling moth larvae placed in scaled-down plastic fruit bins treated with 55 mL of AA evaporated into a 1-m3 chamber caused 100% mortality. The same fumigation treatment of artificially infested, scaled-down wooden fruit bins caused no significant mortality of test larvae. Atmospheric concentrations of AA vapor in 1-m3 fumigation chambers containing wooden bins could not be maintained at levels necessary to cause insect death, even after multiple injections of AA. We hypothesize that either the wood or the moisture contained therein absorbs or in some other way interacts with the AA vapor. The use of AA as a fumigant targeting codling moth larvae in wooden bins is not practical or economical at this time. Fumigation of plastic fruit bins with AA would provide an economical and environmentally friendly method of killing diapausing codling moth larvae. The successful disinfestations of plastic fruit bins of codling moth would prevent these bins from being an external source of infestation, thereby decreasing overall codling moth infestation in orchards, which in turn benefits current density-dependent management practices used for the area-wide control of codling moth. chemical name: Glacial Acetic Acid (AA).
Foliar sprays of a nonswelling chlorite mica clay were applied to leaves of greenhouse-grown long English cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants, either before or after an artificial inoculation with powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlech.:Fr.) Poll.] and to field-grown wine grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) before natural inoculation with powdery mildew [Uncinula necator (Schwein.) Burrill]. In all cases, the clay sprays did not eradicate the pathogen, but resulted in significant reductions in disease severity. In cucumber, a single spray of 0.5% clay reduced colony numbers on leaves by up to 60%. Spraying after inoculation was generally more effective than spraying before inoculation. In grapes, repeated sprays of either 2% or 4% clay were applied through the season to `Reisling' and `Chancellor' vines. Four percent clay reduced the amount of leaf surface covered by mildew by 22% in `Reisling' and 51% in `Chancellor'. Both concentrations reduced the incidence of mildew on clusters and canes. No treatment effects were observed on fruit quality. Our results demonstrate that foliar sprays of clay can reduce the severity of Sphaerotheca fuliginea and Uncinula necator on cucumbers and grapes, respectively.