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New Zealand Plant Protection 69 (2016): 328

A simple method for conidial production and for inoculating apples with Neofabraea alba

I.P.S. Pushparajah, B.M. Fisher, P.N. Wood and K.R. Everett

ABSTRACT

Current methods for producing conidia of Neofabraea alba, the fungal cause of Bull's eye rot of apple, are laborious and time-consuming. A minimum of 6 weeks is required. Mycelial cultures of N. alba did not produce conidia on commonly used potato dextrose agar, and therefore several other media were tested. Growth on corn meal agar resulted in a high conidial yield (ca 106 conidia/ml) after 5-7 days growth. Published research reports a method to inoculate apples with this pathogen without wounding, but it requires specialised equipment. A simple method that does not require specialised equipment was developed to inoculate apple fruit with the Bull's eye rot pathogen without wounding. Conidia were placed on water agar, and apple fruit were placed on these spores for at least 5 days for establishment of infections. Reliable infection of 70-80% of apples required a 14-day wetness period after the fruit were placed on the conidial solution. This wound-free N. alba inoculation method provides the basis for further research to examine the effect of various treatments designed to reduce the impact of this pathogen in apple orchards.

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