Short Exposure to High CO2 and O-2 at Curing Temperature to Control Postharvest Diseases of Citrus Fruit
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Montesinos-Herrero, C., del Rio, M. A., Rojas-Argudo, C., and Palou, L. 2012. Short exposure to high CO2 and O-2 at curing temperature to control postharvest diseases of citrus fruit. Plant Dis. 96:423-430. Curing of citrus fruit at 30 to 37 degrees C and 90 to 98% relative humidity for 65 to 72 h is an effective alternative to fungicides to control postharvest green and blue molds caused by Penicillium digitatum and P italicum, respectively. However, commercial adoption is limited because treatment is long and it may harm fruit quality. In order to improve the feasibility of curing, short CO2 or O-2 exposures at curing temperature were evaluated on 'Nadorcott, 'Clemenules', and 'Ortanique' mandarin fruit and 'Valencia' orange. Fruit were artificially inoculated, exposed 24 h later to air (control); CO2 at 15, 30, 50, or 95 kPa; or O-2 at 30 or 45 kPa at 20 or 33 degrees C for 8, 24, or 48 h and incubated at 20 degrees C for 4, 7, or 15 days. Exposure at 33 degrees C with CO2 at 15 kPa for 24 h or O-2 at 30 kPa for 48 h effectively controlled both green and blue molds after 7 days of incubation at 20 degrees C; however, control of both diseases was minimal after 15 days. To assess potential induction of disease resistance, fruit were treated as described above, then inoculated after 1, 2, or 5 days at 20 degrees C and evaluated after 3 and 6 more days at 20 degrees C. All of the treatments were ineffective in inducing fruit resistance. Short exposures of citrus fruit to high CO2 or O-2 at curing temperatures may be part of a control program alternative to synthetic fungicides, especially for organic fruit markets.