Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Food Quality Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347646

Research Project: Development of Novel Tools to Manage Fungal Plant Pathogens that Cause Postharvest Decay of Pome Fruit to Reduce Food Waste

Location: Food Quality Laboratory

Title: Distribution & characterization of Monilinia spp. causing apple fruit decay in Serbia

item VSIC, MILJAN - University Of Belgrade
item VICO, IVANA - University Of Belgrade
item Jurick, Wayne
item DUDUK, NATASA - University Of Belgrade

Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/10/2017
Publication Date: 1/17/2018
Citation: Vsic, M., Vico, I., Jurick II, W.M., Duduk, N. 2018. Distribution & characterization of Monilinia spp. causing apple fruit decay in Serbia. Plant Disease. 102:359-369.

Interpretive Summary: Brown rot is a common, widespread, and economically important disease of apple, pear and peach fruit. The fungus significantly reduces marketable yield and negatively impacts fruit quality. To help control this important disease, the fungus has been isolated from apples in storage and from the orchard over a three-year period in Serbia. A variety of methods were used to study the isolates, and four different species of the fungus were characterized. Differences in growth, spread, and ability to infect apple fruit were observed. For the first time, a new brown rot species was found which is quarantined in the US and other parts of Europe. Data from this study can be used by customers and stakeholders to identify and distinguish between various brown rot fungi. This data will also aid in reducing the spread of quarantine pathogens to other areas during export of fruit to other countries.

Technical Abstract: Brown rot, caused by Monilinia spp., is an economically important pre- and postharvest disease of pome and stone fruits worldwide. In Serbia, apple is the most widely grown pome fruit, and the distribution of economically important Monilinia spp. responsible for apple brown rot is unknown. Hence, we conducted a three-year survey, from 2010 to 2012, where 349 isolates were obtained from six orchards and four storage facilities from five different apple cultivars with brown rot symptoms. Morphological characterization of the isolates, multiplex PCR, and phylogenetic analysis revealed four species: M. fructigena, M. laxa, M. fructicola, and Monilia polystroma. All species were found in the orchard and in storage, with M. fructigena predominating, followed by M. polystroma. Representative isolates were analyzed in vitro and in vivo where differences in growth rate, sporulation, and virulence on apple fruit were observed. Findings from this investigation demonstrate diversity in the species responsible for pre- and postharvest apple brown rot which has significant implications for pathogen detection and for developing disease-specific management strategies.