The prevalence of Botrytis spp. in and on plums: a preliminary investigation using molecular technology


In recent years, grey mould decay problems in several fruit industries have escalated to become what seems like an insurmountable problem. The expected outcomes of the project are unknown, but either positive, or negative results on the prevalence of Botrytis cinerea in plum orchards will be useful to the stone fruit industry. Should all results be negative (no Botrytis cinerea detected, or very low levels of Botrytis cinerea detected), we would expect to see low levels of grey mold infection on the stored plums. If high levels of decay are experienced in stored fruit in the experiment, it might indicate that the packaging and storage of the fruit favours Botrytis infection. If high levels of Botrytis are detected, and especially if it is for particular time points in the production cycle, it will allow for follow up research that could focus on that single point in time. This will steer further research to find a solution for better management of grey mould in plums. Although not within the first year of this study, the results from this research will shed light on unknown aspects of Botrytis ecology, which will allow a custom made plan of action to be set in place. The final impact of this work is foreseen to be greater success in the control of grey mold decay, which will have a significant economic benefit to the fruit industry.