Over and above the commercial activity that is an integral part of all companies, we, at Citrosol, share our knowledge in a tangible way by publishing our researchers’ papers in prestigious scientific journals worldwide. The latest example is a recent study published in the ‘Journal of Plant Science and Phytopathology’, authored by Celia Murciano, Jeniffer J. Oliver-Chirito and Benito Orihuel, on the identification of a new pathogen, Cladosporium ramotenellum, currently the cause of significant losses in mandarins being exported from Peru, adding to food waste in citrus produce.
Until now, only two Cladosporium species have been associated with decay in citrus produce; C. herbarum and C. cladosporoides. We must now add C. ramotenelum to that list which, as an opportunistic pathogen, takes advantage of damage to the rind to infect the fruit via those wounds, or micro-wounds, on the skin.
The pathogen was singled out through molecular identification in both locally grown fruit and fruit from different exports, confirming the presence of Cladosporium ramotenellum, as being the cause of decay in ripe fruit.
The problem is especially serious in the latter part of the season and in quarantine shipments where Cold Treatments are used to control various pests. “The spores of the fungus, carried by the wind, penetrate through weakened areas of the rind. These spores germinate in storage conditions with high humidity”, pointed out Benito Orihuel, one of the authors of this Citrosol paper, “ it is a dry and firm decay process. The attacked areas quickly darken and, on many occasions, a gray or black mycelium develops on them”.
This pathology, documented by Citrosol, was, in 2018, the cause of considerable economic damage suffered by mandarin exporters from Peru in their refrigerated shipments to destinations such as Asia or the United States. It has also been noted more recently, although to a lesser extent, in shipments to Europe. To combat the problem, Citrosol makes two recommendations: 1. reduce the inoculum load of Cladosporium sp and C. ramotenellum that the fruit brings in from the field and 2. protect the fruit, the skin, from the Chilling Injury that typically becomes manifest in refrigerated transport, with Citrosol’s Plantseal® or CI-Control coatings.
In this respect, Citrosol protocols have been proven effective in controlling the damage that this new pathogen causes; the black spots that lead to both economic losses for operators and food waste for society as a whole.
Citrosol proposes a strategy where the dose of Citrocide® must be increased when washing fruit (Citrocide® Online System). Also, to reinforce the drencher treatment with Ortocil (Orthophenylphenol at 1200 ppm) and Citrocide® Plus, as they are effective in vitro against Cladosporium ramotenellum. Finally, the wax treatment should be intensified with Ortosol 6500 (Orthophenylphenol at 3575 ppm); a fungicide that has been shown to be effective in treating peduncular mold caused by Cladosporium sp., so it could help prevent C. ramotenellum infection.
“We have developed treatments with dual objectives, eliminate the brutal load of inoculum, Cladosporium ramotenellum, on the fruit whilst fortifying the rind and reducing chilling injury in transport”, added Benito Orihuel.
Our work, once again, establishes the great importance of controlling pathological problems in the reduction of food losses, especially in the case of citrus fruit.
Other scientific publications by Citrosol
Together with the paper ‘Pathogen identification and control of sooty spot caused by Cladosporium ramotenellum, appearing on fresh easy peeler mandarins from Peru’ published in the ‘Journal of Plant Science and Phytopathology’ on the discovery by Citrosol that Cladosporium ramotenellum is responsible for large declines in the export of mandarins, Citrosol has published other scientific articles in recent years:
Characterization and control of “bottom box water spot”, a new citrus rind disorder in Spain (ActaHortic.2018.1194.174)
Postharvest treatments to control physiological disorders and decay in lemon fruit (Food packaging and Shelf Life, DOI: 10.1016/j.fpsl.2017.08.009)
Potassium sorbate effects on citrus weight loss and decay control (Postharvest Biology and Technology 96, 7–13; 2014).
Relevant scientific information for postharvest citrus fruit, which contributes to the reduction of losses in the commercialization of citrus fruit.
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