Internal Fruit Rot (Fusarium spp.) of Greenhouse Bell Peppers

Christien Sauviller, Maarten Van Mechelen, Mario Frans, Rudy Aerts, Kurt Heungens, Kris Van Poucke, Fran Focquet, Liesbet Van Herck

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan congresC3: Congres - Meeting abstract


Since 2003 the cultivation of bell peppers in Belgium has to deal
with a new disease that leads to internal fruit rot and is caused by
Fusarium species. Infection takes place in the flowering stage.
The pathogen stays latent during the growth of the fruit after
which fungal mycelium can develop during ripening, but mostly
after harvest, causing internal and later external fruit rot.
Around 75% of the isolates obtained from diseased fruits belonged to the
Fusarium lactis species complex (FLASC). F. oxysporum and F. proliferatum
were also isolated but less frequently, 14% and 9% respectively.
The pathogenicity of these Fusarium species was studied in assays using
fruit as well as flower inoculation on different cultivars. Differences in
pathogenicity were most clearly observed after fruit inoculation. These
results however were not consistent with the results of flower inoculation,
which is considered more representative, that showed only verylittle difference between the Fusarium species. Furthermore there was
also an impact of the cultivar on the development of internal fruit rot.
To gain a better insight in the latent phase of the infection process
and particularly to study the development of the frequency of latent
infections during the growing period of the fruit an experiment
was set up and repeated three times over the course of the growing
season. The presence of Fusarium in the flowers and in the fruits
was determined at several time points between flowering and harvest
using traditional surface disinfection and plating techniques
using either natural infection or artificially inoculated (FLASC)
flowers. The frequency of latently infected fruits stayed at a similar
level from flower to harvest, indicating only very limited opportunities
to affect the disease after initial infection took place.
Preventing initial infection will thus be an important factor in the control
of internal fruit rot. One way to reduce the amount of initial infections
may be the removal of withering tissues such as pistil and petals,
as preliminary results have shown that these were frequently saprophytically
colonized with FLASC isolates. Several experiments indicated
however that such removal was not successful, suggesting that the infection
process is quite fast and that the number of airborne spores is insufficiently
lowered by the removal of withering flowering structures.
As our study to gain more insights into this pathosystem goes on, opportunities
for sustainable control of internal fruit rot, such as prevention
of flower infection by biological control agents, and screening for
disease resistance, are being explored.
StatusGepubliceerd - nov-2012
Evenement21st International Pepper Conference - Napels, Italië
Duur: 4-nov-20126-nov-2012


Congres21st International Pepper Conference
Internet adres


  • B390-fytopathologie

Dit citeren