|Authors: ||E. Feliziani, L. Landi, G. Romanazzi|
|Keywords: ||color, firmness, Fragaria × ananassa, integrated pest management, gray mold|
Gray mold is the main postharvest pathogen of strawberry fruit.
The aim of the study was to test the effects of field treatments with alternatives to conventional fungicides on strawberry fruit quality parameters and postharvest decay.
Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch, 'Alba' and 'Romina') canopies were treated during the 2012 and 2013 seasons with chitosan, laminarin, extracts of Abies spp., extracts of Polygonum spp., extracts of Saccharomyces spp., organic acids and calcium, benzothiadiazole and a fungicide strategy based on a combination of cyprodinil, fludioxonil, pyrimethanil, and fenhexamid.
The treatments with these compounds were applied every five days throughout the seasons, from strawberry flowering to ripening.
After harvest, the fruit were cold stored for one week and then exposed to shelf life at 20°C. The effects on strawberry quality parameters and postharvest decay were evaluated.
The treatments with these alternative compounds did not have any negative effects on strawberry color and firmness.
In most cases, the treatments reduced postharvest decay of strawberry fruit, mainly gray mold, with higher magnitude of disease reduction in the year with a lower disease pressure (2012). The strategy based on field treatments with conventional fungicide resulted the most effective in disease management.
According to an integrated disease management approach, the field treatments with the tested compounds can complement, especially when the disease pressure is low, the use of synthetic fungicides in the control of postharvest decay of strawberry, without negatively affecting strawberry quality parameters.
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