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Int J Food Microbiol. 2001 Oct 22;70(1-2):53-61.

Biological control of postharvest pear diseases using a bacterium, Pantoea agglomerans CPA-2.

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  • 1Postharvest Unit, Centre UdL-IRTA, Lleida, Catalonia, Spain.


Epiphytic microorganisms isolated from the fruits and leaf surfaces of apples and pears were screened for antagonistic activity against Penicillium expansum on pears. From 247 microorganisms tested for antagonistic properties against P. expansum, a bacterium strain identified as Pantoea agglomerans (CPA-2) was selected. This bacterium was very effective against Botrytis cinerea, P. expansum and Rhizopus stolonifer. Complete control at the three tested concentrations (2 x 10(7), 8 x 10(7) and 1 x 10(8) CFU ml(-1)) was obtained on wounded pears inoculated with 10(3), 10(4) and 10(5) conidia ml(-1) of P. expansum and R. stolonifer. At 8 x 10(7) CFU ml(-1), Pan. agglomerans reduced B. cinerea decay by more than 80% at the three concentrations of the pathogen. In over 3 years of experiments in semicommercial trials, Pan. agglomerans provided excellent control against B. cinerea and P. expansum under cold storage, either in air or in low oxygen atmospheres. Equal control was obtained with Pan. agglomerans at 8 x 10(7) CFU ml(-1), as with the fungicide imazalil at commercial doses, against both pathogens. Pan. agglomerans grew well inside wounds on pears at both room and cold temperatures and under modified atmospheres. In contrast, it grew poorly on the surface of intact fruit.

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