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Storage rots in plums and cherries - HH2604STF

This project addresses the problem of losses due to fungal rots in plums and cherries. Reducing losses due to fungal rots will enable short term storage and improved shelf life, which are currently limited by excessive rotting, to be used to improve fruit quality and extend the marketing period to increase profitability of these high value crops. Reduction in rotting will be achieved by first identifying the fungal species responsible for losses in plums and cherries, then identifying inoculum sources and devising methods to eradicate or suppress sporulation. Studies will also be conducted on factors affecting latent infection of fruit prior to harvest and survival of fungal spores on the fruit surface at harvest. This will allow prediction of rotting in store and methods to reduce surface contamination of fruit to be devised. The emphasis will be on developing non chemical methods of control,particularly biocontrol but fungicides will be evaluated where appropriate, particularly for elimation of overwintering inoculum. The project will support MAFF policy of maximising product quality after harvest, on reducing the dependence on pesticides for disease control and exploiting biocontrol in outdoor crops.
Overall objective
To identify the main causes of rotting in plum and cherry pre and post harvest and to obtain biological and epidemiological data for underpinning effective methods of control that minimise the use of fungicides.

Specific objectives
1 To identify the main causes of rotting in plums and cherries and whether varieties differ in susceptibility.

2 To identify the main sources of disease inoculum and treatments that can be used to suppress sporulation.

3 To understand factors affecting latent infection of fruit by M Laxa in relation to fruit age and weather.

4 To understand factors affecting survival of conidia of Monilinia spp on the surface of fruits at harvest and develop treatments which can be used to reduce or eliminate the spore contamination.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Storage rots in plums and cherries   (316k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2004

Cost: £154,852
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International, East Malling Research
Disease Control              
Organic Farming              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study