The role of petals in development of grey mould in strawberries = Importância das pétalas no desenvolvimento do mofo-cinzento do morangueiro

P. Boff, J. de Kraker, M. de Gerlagh, J. Köhl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Studies were conducted in annual crops of strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) (cv. Elsanta to assess the relative importance of petals as an inoculum source of grey mould, caused by Botrytis cinerea and to identify during which period of flower and fruit development the presence of petals has a significant effect on development of grey mould on fruits. In 1998, the incidence of B. cinerea on flower parts was assessed, and the symptoms of grey mould on fruits were characterised with regards to their starting point. The incidence of B. cinerea on petals was 65-85% of those flowers that harboured B. cinerea. The starting point of symptoms was located underneath the sepals in 65-85% of fruits with grey mould, and petals were present at this site in about 50% of the cases. In 1999, four field experiments were conducted to assess the effect of petal removal at different stages of flower and fruit development on incidence of grey mould. The incidence of grey mould on fruits with petals retained till harvest was circa 55% more than on fruits where petals were removed or had dropped naturally by the end of flowering, regardless of planting date or inoculum level of B. cinerea. The incidence of grey mould was hardly different between treatments where petals were removed at young flower stage, old flower stage, or green fruit stage. It is concluded that petals are an effective and stable source of inoculum for fruit infection by B. cinerea. Considering the high probability that retention of petals during fruit expansion and ripening results in fruit infection, the elimination of petals as an inoculum source appears worthwhile even when the incidence of petal retention on fruits is relatively low
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)76-83
JournalFitopatologia Brasileira
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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