Proof of Concept for Shoot Blight and Fire Blight Canker Management with Postinfection Spray Applications of Prohexadione-Calcium and Acibenzolar-S-Methyl in Apple


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Scientific Societies


To reduce the severity of shoot blight and prevent the resulting development of cankers on perennial apple wood, we evaluated eight fire blight postinfection spray programs of prohexadione-calcium (PCA) alone or with acibenzolar-S-methyl (ASM) over 2 years. On mature trees of cultivar Royal Court, a single application of the high PCA rate (247 mg/liter) at 2 to 3 days after inoculation resulted in 89.5 and 69.5% reduction of shoot blight severity after inoculation. Two applications of PCA 247 mg/liter 12 or 14 days apart, with the first one applied 2 to 3 days after inoculation, resulted in 78.8 and 74.5% reduction of shoot blight severity in both years. A 100% control of canker incidence on perennial wood from infected shoots in both years was achieved with a single application of PCA (247 mg/liter) applied at 2 or 3 days after the inoculation, and three applications of PCA (125 mg/liter) + ASM (25 mg/liter) 12 to 16 days apart reduced canker incidence by 83.5 and 69% in the 2 years. The other programs with lower PCA rates and frequencies of application reduced shoot blight severity 50.8 and 51.8% (PCA) and 62.6 to 72% and 59.3% (PCA + ASM) over 2 years, respectively. Reduction of canker incidence on wood by the other programs was 66.5% and 69 to 90.4% in the two years, respectively. As fire blight cankers lead to death of dwarf apple trees and serve as primary sources of inoculum, our effective PCA and PCA + ASM programs could serve as viable postinfection management options. These treatments can reduce or prevent canker development and thus significantly abate tree losses in high-density apple orchards after fire blight epidemics occur.



Erwinia amylovora, acibenzolar-S-methyl, fire blight, post-infection control, prohexadione-calcium, rescue treatment, shoot blight, 0605 Microbiology, 0607 Plant Biology, 0703 Crop and Pasture Production, Plant Biology & Botany