Optimal management of pre-harvest rot in sweet cherry (CY13001)
What was it all about?
This three-year project investigated the identity and management of pre-harvest rot pathogens in sweet cherries.
Monilinia species have long been thought to be the major cause of rots in cherries, but the results from this project suggest this is not the case.
Researchers found that while cherry rots look similar, different pathogens are involved. Botrytis cinerea was found to be the dominant rot pathogen in orchards surveyed in southern Tasmania, and Alternaria alternata was a dominant pathogen causing rot in orchards in Orange and Young in New South Wales – with pathogenicity tests confirming the latter could infect intact fruit.
Understanding that different fungal pathogens are involved has implications for management of cherry rots within Australian orchards.
The researchers also found that pathogen-spore abundance occurred right throughout the sweet cherry season from flowering, with a new molecular method developed to quantify spores of Botrytis cinerea, Monilinia laxa and Monilinia fructicola.
Access the following key resources for growers…
- Identification guide for common cherry rot pathogens
- Fact sheet on brown rot (caused by Monilinia fructicola)
- A weather-based cherry-rot risk tool is also available to help growers be aware of infection risk at key times. Further information on how to request the tool is available in the tool user guide, available here.
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation
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