Postharvest storage rots of apples and pears in the Netherlands

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Postharvest diseases are a major problem in long storage of apples and pears in the Netherlands. Despite intensive preharvest spraying Programmes significant losses occur. Over 150 heavily affected lots of apples (mainly cv. Elstar) and pears (mainly cv. Conference) from packing houses in different regions of the Netherlands were evaluated for decay symptoms and causal organisms. Assessments showed that the most important pathogens are Neofabraea spp. (apples and pears) and Cadophora spp. (pears). Infection by these two athogens occurs in the orchard but remains latent until storage. Other pathogens such as Botrytis spp., Penicillium spp., Fusarium spp., Alternaria spp., and Cladosporium spp. were isolated at low frequencies and are considered of minor importance. However, new problems with sooty blotch and lenticel rot of apple were noticed, most likely caused by other, not yet identified, pathogens. Pathogenicity testing
and characterization of isolates are on-going. For major pathogens, qPCR assays are available. Samples of substrates (e.g. leaves, cankers, soil) were monthly taken from 10 apple and 10 pear orchards in 2012. Samples were assessed using the qPCR assays for presence and dynamics of pathogen populations. This information on the pathogen life cycles is needed for the development of innovative strategies (e.g. sanitation practices) to prevent postharvest losses. Storage conditions may significantly influence disease
development. Recently, the project ‘KWALIFRUIT’ was launched to identify the
optimum harvest stage of pome fruit and optimal storage conditions for maximum fruit quality and storage life and minimal postharvest losses
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventIII International Symosium on Postharvest Pathology: using science to increase food availability - Bari, Italy
Duration: 7 Jun 201511 Jun 2015


ConferenceIII International Symosium on Postharvest Pathology: using science to increase food availability


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