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First Report of Neofusicoccum ribis Causing Postharvest Decay of Apple Fruit from Cold Storage in Pennsylvania

Jurick W. M., Vico I., Gaskins V. L., Janisiewicz W. J., Peter K. A.
Plant disease 2013 v.97 no.7 pp. 999
apples, application rate, sporulation, stem cankers, fludioxonil, minimum inhibitory concentration, DNA, mycelium, postharvest diseases, hyphae, tubulin, genes, nucleotide sequences, plant pathogenic fungi, pyrimethanil, Neofusicoccum ribis, cold storage, thiabendazole, Pennsylvania
Neofusicoccum ribis (Slippers, Crous & M.J. Wingf.), previously known as Botryosphaeria ribis (Grossenb. & Duggar), is an aggressive fungal plant pathogen that is part of the N. ribis/N. parvum species complex that causes stem cankers on a variety of woody plant species (2). An isolate of N. ribis was obtained from decayed ‘Honeycrisp’ apple fruit from a commercial cold storage facility located in Pennsylvania in October of 2011. The decayed apple fruit sample had a brownish lesion that was soft, dry, and leathery on the surface while sporulation was not evident. To conduct Koch's postulates, three ‘Golden Delicious’ apple fruits were wound-inoculated with a 50-μl mycelial suspension, obtained from aseptically scraping a 7-day-old potato dextrose agar (PDA) culture of the fungus, and was repeated using ‘Fuji’ apple fruit. The inoculated fruit developed lesions, while water-inoculated fruit were symptomless after 5 days at 20°C. N. ribis was reisolated from infected tissue and was morphologically identical to the original isolate. Genomic DNA was isolated, a portion of the β-tubulin gene was amplified with the gene specific primers, and the amplicon was sequenced and analyzed using BLAST (1). The nucleotide sequence (GenBank Accession No. KC47853) had 99% identity with N. ribis SEGA8 isolate (JN607146.1). The N. ribis isolate produced a grayish-white mycelium with abundant aerial hyphae on PDA and had an olive-colored reverse. Microscopic investigation revealed septate mycelia with right angle branching and conidiomata were not evident on PDA, V8, oatmeal agar (OMA), or water agar (WA). Growth on WA was sparse and transparent, and aerial mycelial growth was not produced. Growth rate analyses were conducted on PDA, V8, and OMA and were 10.1 (±1.39), 20.4 (±1.15), and 17.6 (±0.70) mm/day at 20°C and the experiment was repeated. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) for the N. ribis isolate was carried out for three postharvest fungicides as described by Pianzzola et al. (3). Briefly, 96 well plates were filled with PDA alone (0 ppm) and PDA amended with 10 fungicide concentrations ranging from 1 to 1,200 ppm for thiabendazole (Mertect), and 1 to 1,000 ppm for fludioxonil (Scholar) and pyrimethanil (Penbotec). A mycelial suspension of the fungus was obtained from pure culture, 50 μl of the mycelial suspension was pipetted into each well, and allowed to grow for 72 h at 25°C. The experiment was conducted twice. The N. ribis isolate displayed MIC values of >1 ppm thiabendazole (Mertect), >1 ppm fludioxonil (Scholar), and 50 ppm pyrimethanil (Penbotec), which are all well below the labeled application rates for these postharvest fungicides. To our knowledge, this is the first report of N. ribis causing postharvest decay on apple fruit obtained from a commercial storage facility in Pennsylvania.References: (1) S. F. Altschul et al. J. Mol. Biol. 215:403, 1990. (2) D. Pavlic et al. Mycologia 101:636, 2009. (3) M. J. Pianzzola et al. Plant Dis. 88:23, 2004.