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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Food Quality Laboratory » Research » Research Project #442780

Research Project: Resolving Inoculum Sources and Evaluating Alternatives to Mitigate Postharvest Diseases, Food Losses, and Mycotoxin Contamination in Apple

Location: Food Quality Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-42430-002-008-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2021
End Date: Jun 30, 2024

The main objective of this project is to deliver new controls and application methods to control postharvest decay of stored pome fruits. The grant proposal and detailed research project is composed of three separate objectives that are to: 1) Enumerate and identify inoculum sources and fungicide resistance profiles of fungi causing postharvest rots from the field through postharvest handling and storage, 2) Determine and optimize alternative postharvest treatments using GRAS and alternative products to eliminate fungicide resistant and sensitive inoculum on bins and apples and 3) Formulate and disseminate sanitization protocols and procedures for postharvest disease management via extension and outreach activities.

The approach will entail a three year study that involved surveying packinghouses (air, bins, walls, equipment) for postharvest pathogens using standard microbiological methods and identification of such isolates to species using multiple highly conserved single gene loci. The isolates will be phenotypes for fungicide resistance using discriminatory doses and quantitative levels of resistance using plate-based assays. We will then test variety of products in vitro and determine contact/non-contact efficacy on bin surfaces and fruit.