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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wenatchee, Washington » Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #344500

Research Project: Utilization of the Rhizosphere Microbiome and Host Genetics to Manage Soil-borne Diseases

Location: Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research

Title: A review of apple anthracnose canker biology and management in cider apple orchards in the Maritime Pacific Northwest

Author
item Garton, Whitney - Washington State University
item Devetter, Lisa - Washington State University
item Mazzola, Mark
item Miles, Carol - Washington State University

Submitted to: Journal of American Pomological Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/30/2017
Publication Date: 6/4/2018
Citation: Garton, W.J., Devetter, L.W., Mazzola, M., Miles, C.A. 2018. A review of apple anthracnose canker biology and management in cider apple orchards in the Maritime Pacific Northwest. Journal of American Pomological Society. 72(2):113-121.

Interpretive Summary: Cider apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) is an emerging crop in western Washington and the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region, but a major obstacle to planting new orchards and orchard productivity is the widespread occurrence of apple anthracnose canker, caused by the fungal pathogen Neofabraea malicorticis. The pathogen induces tree cankers that can kill newly planted trees, structurally weaken established trees, and is the primary factor limiting long-term orchard productivity in the region. Current management practices include excising cankers during the dormant season and applying postharvest fungicides prior to fall rains. Traditional management recommendations have not provided adequate disease control in the region, as new N. malicorticis infections of susceptible hosts occur even after applying the recommended controls. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the existing literature on Neofabraea spp. in apple orchards, address factors that may explain why managing this disease has been difficult, and to address topics for future research.

Technical Abstract: Cider apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) is an emerging crop in western Washington and the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region, but a major obstacle to planting new orchards and orchard productivity is the widespread occurrence of apple anthracnose canker, caused by the fungal pathogen Neofabraea malicorticis (H.S. Jacks). Poor management of apple anthracnose canker in the region is likely due to the lack of effective treatments or treatments being applied at an inappropriate time. Research on disease development and the management of N. malicorticis in an orchard environment is limited and contradictory, which further contributes to the difficulty in developing an effective disease management plan. High inoculum levels and favorable environment for pathogen infection can also contribute to disease severity. If cider apple production is to be successful in the region, it is necessary to have a more complete understanding of the pathogen and to leverage this knowledge in the development of an effective plan to manage apple anthracnose canker in the maritime PNW.