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Hand position on the bunch and source-sink ratio influence the banana fruit susceptibility to crown rot disease

Lassois L., Bastiaanse H., Chillet M., Jullien A., Jijakli M.H., De Lapeyre de Bellaire L.. 2010. Annals of Applied Biology, 156 (2) : p. 221-229.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.2009.00381.x

The postharvest development of crown rot of bananas depends notably on the fruit susceptibility to this disease at harvest. It has been shown that fruit susceptibility to crown rot is variable and it was suggested that this depends on environmental preharvest factors. However, little is known about the preharvest factors influencing this susceptibility. The aim of this work was to evaluate the extent to which fruit filling characteristics during growth and the fruit development stage influence the banana susceptibility to crown rot. This involved evaluating the influence of (a) the fruit position at different levels of the banana bunch (hands) and (b) changing the source-sink ratio (So-Si ratio), on the fruit susceptibility to crown rot. The fruit susceptibility was determined by measuring the internal necrotic surface (INS) after artificial inoculation of Colletotrichum musae. A linear correlation (r = ?0.95) was found between the hand position on the bunch and the INS. The So-Si ratio was found to influence the pomological characteristics of the fruits and their susceptibility to crown rot. Fruits of bunches from which six hands were removed (two hands remaining on the bunch) proved to be significantly less susceptible to crown rot (INS = 138.3 mm2) than those from bunches with eight hands (INS = 237.9 mm2). The banana susceptibility to crown rot is thus likely to be influenced by the fruit development stage and filling characteristics. The present results highlight the importance of standardising hand sampling on a bunch when testing fruit susceptibility to crown rot. They also show that hand removal in the field has advantages in the context of integrated pest management, making it possible to reduce fruit susceptibility to crown rot while increasing fruit size.

Mots-clés : musa acuminata; banane; maladie postrécolte; développement biologique; croissance; pourriture; colletotrichum; qualité; relation hôte pathogène; cameroun; pourriture de la couronne; colletotrichum musae

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