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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 439: III International Strawberry Symposium

STRAWBERRY PHYLLODY ON COLD-STORED (FRIGO) PLANTS IN THE SYDNEY REGION, AUSTRALIA

Author:   L. Ullio
Keywords:   Fragaria x ananassa, achenes, carpels, leaflets, flower initiation
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.1997.439.129
Abstract:
For the last five years growers around Sydney have reported increasing incidents of phyllody symptoms (small leaves sprouting around seeds on developing berries) on cold-stored (frigo) plants. Symptoms appear on plants that were lifted from nurseries in mid-winter, cold-stored at -1.0°C and planted mid- to late-summer to give a small but lucrative autumn crop followed by a main spring crop. Only early autumn berries from cold-stored plants were affected while the spring crop was normal. The main cultivars affected were Chandler, Pajaro and to a lesser extent Parker. All pathological tests indicate no link to virus or phytoplasma as the possible cause of this fruit fasciation. Similar incidents of strawberry phyllody have been reported in the USA, Canada and some parts of Europe.

Early observation indicated that affected plants were from specific nurseries. Plants from nearby nurseries (less than one kilometre away) when planted alongside affected nurseries on growers properties around Sydney showed no phyllody symptoms. Also unseasonal conditions (warmer than normal) prior to lifting and after planting cold-stored plants had been reported over the last decade at the same time the incidents of strawberry phyllody had increased. Early indications as the possible cause of strawberry phyllody in the Sydney Region on cold-stored plants is a combination of environmental condition prior to lifting and storing of plants and at planting and plant physiological changes during flower initiation.

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