, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 223-229

Influence of antagonist, host fruit and pathogen on the biological control of postharvest fungal diseases by yeasts

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The yeasts Rhodotorula glutinis (LS-11), Cryptococcus laurentii (LS-28), Candida famata (21-D) and Pichia guilliermondii (29-A) and the yeast-like fungus Aureobasidium pullulans (LS-30), previously selected and characterized for mechanisms of action and antagonistic activity against postharvest pathogens in small and large-scale experiments, were used in this study in order to assess interrelationships among the main factors (antagonist, host fruit and fungal pathogen) involved in biological control of postharvest diseases. The antagonists were evaluated for their inhibitory activity (IA) against six common postharvest fungal pathogens on six different host fruits. Artificially wounded fruits were first inoculated with the antagonist and 2 h later with the pathogen; subsequently they were kept at 20°C for 4–6 days. The IA of each antagonist was evaluated and data were submitted to factorial analysis of variance. The populations of antagonists were also monitored on wounded and unwounded fruits kept at 20°C for 7 days. Each factor examined (antagonist, host fruit and fungal pathogen) as well as their interactions significantly affected the IA. However, among the antagonists, isolates LS-28 and LS-30 were only slightly affected by both host and pathogen, showing a wide range of activity, whereas isolate LS-11 had a variable IA. All the antagonists rapidly colonized the wounds, while their population remained substantially unchanged on unwounded fruits. These results suggest that in order to select yeasts with a broad spectrum of action, more suitable for commercial development, it would be advantageous to perform preliminary assays against several pathogens and in particular on different fruit species.

Received 23 February 1999/ Accepted in revised form 09 July 1999