Bitter rot of apple in the mid-atlantic united states: Causal species and evaluation of the impacts of regional weather patterns and cultivar susceptibility

Phillip L. Martin, Teresa Krawczyk, Fatemeh Khodadadi, Srdan G. Aćimović, Kari A. Peter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Apple growers in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States have been reporting an increase in losses to bitter rot of apple and are requesting up-to-date management recommendations. Management is complicated by variations in apple cultivar susceptibility, temperature, rainfall, and biology of the Colletotrichum spp. that cause bitter rot. Over 500 apple fruit with bitter rot were obtained from 38 orchards across the Mid-Atlantic and the causal species were identified as Colletotrichum fioriniae and C. nymphaeae of the C. acutatum species complex and C. chrysophilum, C. noveboracense, C. siamense, C. fructicola, C. henanense, and C. gloeosporioides sensu stricto of the C. gloeosporioides species complex, the latter two being first reports. Species with faster in vitro growth rates at higher temperatures were more abundant in warmer regions of the Mid- Atlantic, while those with slower growth rates at higher temperatures were more abundant in cooler regions. Regional bloom dates are earlier and weather data show a gradual warming trend that likely influenced but was not necessarily the main cause of the recent increase in bitter rot in the region. A grower survey of apple cultivar susceptibility showed high variation, with the increase in acres planted to the highly susceptible cultivar Honeycrisp broadly corresponding to the increase in reports of bitter rot. These results form a basis for future studies on the biology and ecology of the Colletotrichum spp. responsible, and suggest that integrated bitter rot management must begin with selection of less-susceptible apple cultivars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)966-981
Number of pages16
JournalPHYTOPATHOLOGY
Volume111
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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