1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Study the effects of new technologies applied pre-harvest to protect fruit from disease and postharvest decay, including studies with citrus canker and other emerging diseases, on tropical and subtropical fruit.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Initially we will test these natural compounds in the laboratory on fruit pieces in specially constructed containers. These compounds will be new for these applications in Florida. We will check for phytotoxicity, efficiency of combating disease under laboratory conditions and ease of use. This work will be conducted in the microbiology labs at the Citrus and Subtropical Products Research Laboratory, Winter Haven, Florida. Information from this preliminary work will be used to study these compounds pre-harvest on fruits in the field in collaboration with grower cooperators. From these field tests, we will be able to see the efficacy of using these natural coatings pre-harvest to keep fruit disease free and ready for packing, shipping and sale. For work with citrus canker we will determine if these compounds reduce inoculum and instance of canker, and open markets for shipment.
3. Progress Report:
This project is related to Objective 3 of the in-house project: Develop pre- and postharvest treatment protocols for reducing specific decay pathogens using sanitizers, antimicrobials, such as plant (including citrus) essential oils, with or without coatings and/or other surface treatments and storage atmospheres to minimize postharvest losses and maximize shell life. The work for this project has been completed. From our field tests, we were able to see that the use of these natural coatings plus copper hydroxide sprayed every 21 days pre-harvest, increased the volume of disease free fruit, both for canker and melanose. This work has resulted in a patent and commercial use of this carnauba based product by Florida citrus growers.