Host-Pathogen Interactions in Postharvest Diseases

  • Joseph W. Eckert
  • Malinie Ratnayake
Part of the Nato Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 46)


Every fruit, vegetable and root crop is exposed to hundreds of species of microorganisms during its lifetime yet the vast majority of these are incapable of extensively invading the plant tissues as long as the cells are living and the tissues are coherent. Approximately 25 species of fungi and bacteria are responsible for the major decays of plant products after harvest. Most of these microorganisms have the potential for attacking only a few different products from related species of plants. For example, Penicillium digitatum causes green mold on citrus fruits but does not cause disease in apples and pears. P. expansum on the other hand, attacks apples and pears, but not citrus fruits. Successful pathogens must have the capability to overcome the host defenses, must be able to initiate growth under conditions of water potential, pH and nutrients present in the host tissues, and must elaborate enzymes that macerate host tissue and cause a release of nutrients required to sustain the indeterminate parasitic development of the pathogen in the host tissues.


Citrus Fruit Botrytis Cinerea Pectate Lyase Banana Fruit Pectin Lyase 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph W. Eckert
    • 1
  • Malinie Ratnayake
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant PathologyUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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