Delayed incidence of stem-end rot and enhanced defences in Aureobasidium pullulans-treated avocado (Persea americana Mill.) fruit

Sashika Yalage Don, N. K. B Adikaram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The stem-end rot of avocado, caused predominantly by Lasiodiplodia theobromae, can result in heavy postharvest losses. Application of a cell suspension of Aureobasidium pullulans at the stem-end of unripe fruit delayed (P < 0.05) disease incidence by 2 days compared to controls which had either stalk intact or not. Presence of stalk reduced the progression of symptoms in both treated and control fruits, but did not significantly (P > 0.05) affect disease incidence. L. theobromae, when cultured together with A. pullulans, showed significantly (P < 0.05) reduced radial growth of colony towards A. pullulans at 48 and 72 h and shortened aerial mycelium compared to controls. Neither of the organisms overgrew on each other but their colony margins were in close proximity. Presence of A. pullulans significantly (P < 0.001) reduced germination of conidia in water, and the germ tubes were shorter and showed only emergence. Chitinase, β-1,3-glucanase and antifungal activity of the peel of control fruit declined during ripening. However, there was increased chitinase and β-1,3-glucanase activity in A. pullulans-treated fruits or fruits that were inoculated with L. theobromae after treatment with A. pullulans. β-1,3-glucanase activity increased only slightly in fruits that were inoculated with L. theobromae without treatment. Greater preformed antifungal activity was retained in A. pullulans-treated fruits during ripening. Enhanced activity of chitinase and β-1,3-glucanase and greater retention of preformed antifungal activity may have contributed to the delayed stem-end rot incidence in A. pullulans-treated avocados. Application of A. pullulans, 2 days prior to inoculation and retention of stalk at harvest, appears to have allowed better establishment of A. pullulans on the fruit surface.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-234
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Plant Diseases and Protection
Issue number3
Early online dateMar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

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