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The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of different commercial formulations of fungicides containing one or more active ingredients in controlling postharvest decay of Thyrinthos and Boccuccia apricots, Red top peaches and Caldesi nectarines. Field treatments consisted of two sprays with cupric compounds, at the end of leaf fall and before bud swelling, one with sulfur compound, at fruit about half final size stage, and one with one of the following commercial formulations at the label suggested rates, one week before harvest: Teldor (fenexamid 50%; Bayer Crop Protection), Folicur (Tebuconazole 4.35%; Bayer Crop Protection), Signum (boscalid 26.7%, pyraclostrobin 6.7%; Basf Crop Protection), Score (difenoconazole 23.23%, Syngenta Crop Protection) and Switch (cyprodinil 37.5%, fludioxonil 25%, Syngenta Crop Protection). After harvest the fruit were stored for 1 week at 6 degrees C and 90% RH followed by 1 week at 20 degrees C and 60% RH to simulate retail conditions, or placed directly at 20 degrees C. All formulations significantly reduced decay in all cultivars. Switch, Signum and Folicur were the most active, while Score was slightly less effective. Teldor activity was low, especially in Thyrintos apricots, where the percentage of rotten fruit was slightly lower than in control fruit. Brown rot was the most representative disease, but in apricots a high percentage of fruit was affected by blue mold and grey mold. Rhizopus rot generally developed as a secondary disease on fruit previously affected by other pathogens and was more frequent in control and Teldor treated fruit. Preharvest sprays with Signum 3 days before harvest reduced postharvest decay after 1 week storage at 20 degrees C in Glo haven peaches and Venus nectarine harvested at advanced stage of maturity. Combining pre-harvest sprays with Signum and a 2-min postharvest dip in 2% sodium bicarbonate at 20 degrees C further reduced decay. In Sothern regions of Italy, the use of synthetic fungicides only immediately before harvest in years when the weather conditions are not favorable to brown rot and other pathogens inducing postharvest decay, combined with a postharvest treatment with sodium bicarbonate could be a feasible integrated approach to reduce the risk of selection of resistant strains of fungi to synthetic fungicides while controlling effectively postharvest decay.


S D'Aquino, A Barberis, D Satta, L De Pau, M Schirra. Pre-harvest treatments with fungicides and post-harvest dips in sodium bicarbonate to control postharvest decay in stone fruit. Communications in agricultural and applied biological sciences. 2012;77(3):197-205

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PMID: 23878974

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