By: Liz Baessler
There’s nothing better than homegrownpeaches. There’s just something about picking them yourself thatmakes them extra sweet. But they can be especially prone to disease, and it’simportant to be vigilant. Even after you’ve harvestedyour peaches, it’s possible for disaster to strike. One commonpost-harvest disease is rhizopus rot. Keep reading to learn more about peachrhizopus rot symptoms and treating a peach with rhizopus rot disease.
Peach Rhizopus Rot Info
Rhizopus rot is a fungal disease that affects stone fruits,usually after they’ve been harvested. It can also appear on overripe fruitthat’s still on the tree. Peach rhizopus rot symptoms usually start as small,brown lesions in the flesh, which can rapidly develop into a flossy whitefungus on the skin, as quickly as overnight.
As the spores grow, the floss turns gray and black. The skinof the fruit will slip off easily when handled. Needless to say, once thesesymptoms appear, the infected fruit is pretty much a lost cause.
What Causes Peach Rhizopus Rot?
Rhizopus rot of peaches develops only in warm conditions,and only on very ripe fruits. The fungus will often grow on rotten fruit underthe tree, spreading upward to the healthy fruit above. Peaches that have beendamaged by insects, hail, or overhandling are especially susceptible, as thefungus can more easily break through the skin.
Once one peach has been infected, the fungus can travelrapidly to other peaches that are touching it.
Peach Rhizopus Rot Control
To help prevent the spread of rhizopus rot to healthypeaches, it’s a good idea to keep the orchard floor clear of fallen fruit.There are sprays designated for rhizopus rot, and it’s best to apply themtoward the end of the season, near harvest time.
During harvest, make sure to handle your peaches with care,as any breaks in the skin will help the fungus spread. The most effective wayto fight the fungus post-harvest is to store your peaches at 39 degrees F. (3.8C.) or below, as the fungus can’t develop under 40 F. (4 C.). Even fruitsharboring the spores will be safe to eat at this temperature.
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Our study indicated that BABA treatment primed induction of the resistance response to control Rhizopus rot development in post-harvest peaches by enhancing the expression of defense-related genes. BABA also induced activities of enzymes involved in lignin biosynthesis and energy metabolism pathways and thereby maintaining the strength of the cell wall and energy status in harvested peaches, which contributes to increase the disease resistance against Rhizopus rot.