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Commun Agric Appl Biol Sci. 2006;71(3 Pt B):973-8.

Aureobasidium pullulansas a biocontrol agent of blue mold in "Rocha" pear.

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ECO-BIO, Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical (IICT), Apartado 3041, PT-1301-901 Lisboa, Portugal.


The blue mold of "Rocha" pear caused by Penicillium expansum is an important postharvest disease which is adequately controlled by application of synthetic fungicides. In recent years, strategies like biological control have been considered a desirable alternative to chemicals. Several studies have demonstrated the potential of the yeast-like fungus Aureobasidium pullulans for control of postharvest decay of pear. A Portuguese isolate of Aureobasidium pullulans was characterized and evaluated for its activity in reducing postharvest blue mold decay of "Rocha" pear caused by Penicillium expansum. Study of optimal conditions for antagonist growth was carried out in six different culture media. The effect of four maturity stages of fruits in the development of A. pullulans was also studied. Biocontrol studies were performed with two concentrations of the antagonist (3 x 10(8) and 4 x 10(9) CFU/ml). A. pullulans growth was significantly different (P < or = 0.001) according to the various media and time of incubation. Best results were obtained in Corn Meal Agar (CMA) and Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) media which contains the higher concentration of glucose (20 mg/l). Medium resulted from fruits of the first harvest date presented lower colony diameter. Inoculation of A. pullulans at 3 x 10(8) and 4 x 10(9) CFU/ml reduced the incidence of the disease by 23 and 63%, and reduced the lesion diameter by 36 and 46%, respectively.

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