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Effects of rootstock and nitrogen fertiliser on postharvest anthracnose development in Hass avocado

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Willingham, S.L., Pegg, K. G., Anderson, J.M., Cooke, A.W., Dean, J.R., Giblin, F. R. and Coates, L. M. (2006) Effects of rootstock and nitrogen fertiliser on postharvest anthracnose development in Hass avocado. Australasian Plant Pathology, 35 (6). pp. 619-629.

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AP06062


These rootstock and nitrogen fertiliser studies confirmed that rootstock race can significantly affect the development of postharvest disease and mineral nutrient accumulation in Hass avocado fruit. When Hass (Guatemalan race) was grafted to seedling Velvick (West Indian race) rootstock, the severity and incidence of anthracnose in fruit were significantly reduced by up to 64 and 37%, respectively, compared with seedling Duke 6 (Mexican race) rootstock. Stem-end rot was also influenced by rootstock in some seasons, and significant reductions (up to 87%) in the severity and incidence of stem-end rot were recorded in Hass fruit from Velvick compared with Duke 6 rootstock trees. These improvements in postharvest diseases were associated with significantly lower concentrations of nitrogen and potassium, higher concentrations of calcium and magnesium, lower ratios of nitrogen:calcium and higher ratios of calcium + magnesium:potassium in Hass leaves and fruit from Velvick compared with Duke 6 rootstock trees. Altering the rate of nitrogen fertiliser had minimal impact on postharvest disease development. However, in one season, reducing the rate of nitrogen fertiliser to nil significantly reduced the concentration of nitrogen in the fruit skin, decreased the nitrogen:calcium ratio and significantly reduced the severity and incidence of anthracnose in Hass fruit from both Velvick and Duke 6 rootstock trees. The form of nitrogen fertiliser (ammonium compared with nitrate) applied to the trees did not significantly affect the postharvest disease susceptibility of Hass avocado fruit on either Velvick or Duke 6 rootstock. The Guatemalan race rootstocks, Anderson 8 and Anderson 10, were also found to be superior to the Mexican race rootstock, Parida 1, for reducing anthracnose severity. This again, was associated with a better balance of mineral nutrients (significantly lower nitrogen:calcium and higher calcium + magnesium:potassium ratios) in the fruit. This rootstock effect, however, was only observed in the first season of a 3-year experiment, possibly because of a better balance between vegetative growth and fruit production in Parida 1 in the latter two seasons. Significant positive correlations between anthracnose severity and fruit skin nitrogen:calcium ratios were evident across all experiments.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Additional Information:© Australasian Plant Pathology Society.
Keywords:Colletotrichum gloeosporioides; nutrition; fruit minerals; involvement; calcium; susceptibility; Epicatechin; nutrient; quality; latency.
Subjects:Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture > Culture of individual fruits or types of fruit > Stonefruit
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Fertilisers
Plant pests and diseases
Live Archive:27 Jan 2009 05:56
Last Modified:10 Jul 2023 01:12

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