The major aim of project PE 007 - Sweet pepper: aspects of the biology and control of Fusarium fruit rot - was to better understand treatments to reduce the occurrence of internal fruit rot caused by Fusarium species, thereby reducing the risk of rejection and disruption to the supply chain.
Fusarium internal fruit rot in the UK is most commonly caused by F. lactis, with differences in susceptibility between varieties. Pele (yellow) is very susceptible and Ferrari (green) less so. The red variety Cupra is less susceptible than red Spider.
An experiment in a commercial crop of Cupra peppers showed that sprays of Amistar (azoxystrobin), Switch (cyprodinil + fludioxonil) and Serenade ASO (Bacillus subtilis) at flowering significantly reduced disease incidence.
An additional treatment was included to further investigate the effect of high humidity. An increase in the level of Fusarium internal fruit rot from 2.9 to 7.7 per cent supports the hypothesis that Fusarium development is favoured by high humidity.
An investigation of fallen aborted fruit determined that Fusarium spp. (mainly F. Lactis) were present in high numbers (in 100 per cent of fruit in November). Fallen aborted fruit from the canopy and floor can be removed to help to reduce inoculum levels of Fusarium.
Horticultural Development Company
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