Grey mould of strawberry, a devastating disease caused by the ubiquitous necrotrophic fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea

Stefan Petrasch, Steven J. Knapp, Jan A.L. van Kan, Barbara Blanco-Ulate*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea causes grey mould, a commercially damaging disease of strawberry. This pathogen affects fruit in the field, storage, transport and market. The presence of grey mould is the most common reason for fruit rejection by growers, shippers and consumers, leading to significant economic losses. Here, we review the biology and epidemiology of the pathogen, mechanisms of infection and the genetics of host plant resistance. The development of grey mould is affected by environmental and genetic factors; however, little is known about how B. cinerea and strawberry interact at the molecular level. Despite intensive efforts, breeding strawberry for resistance to grey mould has not been successful, and the mechanisms underlying tolerance to B. cinerea are poorly understood and under-investigated. Current control strategies against grey mould include pre- and postharvest fungicides, yet they are generally ineffective and expensive. In this review, we examine available research on horticultural management, chemical and biological control of the pathogen in the field and postharvest storage, and discuss their relevance for integrative disease management. Additionally, we identify and propose approaches for increasing resistance to B. cinerea in strawberry by tapping into natural genetic variation and manipulating host factors via genetic engineering and genome editing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-892
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Volume20
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • disease management
  • fruit ripening
  • fruit-pathogen interaction
  • plant breeding
  • plant defence
  • primary infection
  • secondary infection

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