, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 142-148

Field applications of three different classes of known host plant defence elicitors did not suppress infection of Geraldton waxflower by Botrytis cinerea

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Abstract

Ethylene-mediated flower abscission caused by Botrytis infection afflicts cut Geraldton waxflower stems. Preharvest spray applications of three known host plant defence elicitors, benzothiadiazole (BTH), methyl jasmonate (MeJA) or silicon (Si), were applied to Geraldton waxflower cvv. Mullering Brook and My Sweet Sixteen. Their individual efficacy in postharvest suppression of Botrytis disease developmentwas assessed. Field applications of BTH or Si generally had no significant (P>0.05) effect on Botrytis disease severity on either cultivar. MeJA sprays did not significantly (P>0.05) reduce disease severity on cv. Mullering Brook, but slightly and significantly (P<0.05) suppressed Botrytis on cv. My Sweet Sixteen at concentrations of 500 and 750 μM MeJA. One Si treatment, 1500 mg SiO2/L, significantly (P<0.05) reduced floral abscission on cv. Mullering Brook. Overall, field applications of these three host plant defence elicitor chemicals as spray treatments had little effect on vase life, water uptake and relative fresh weight of the cut flower sprigs. Moreover, they did not suppress Botrytis or associated postharvest floral abscission in cut Geraldton waxflower flowers.