Table grapes' new ally: Muscodor albus

Small but mighty, a beneficial microbe called Muscodor albus may help protect fresh grapes from troublesome gray mold. Experiments conducted over the past several years by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant pathologist Joseph L. Smilanick and his ARS and industry colleagues have shown that M. albus can combat Botrytis cinerea, the organism that causes gray mold.

Gray mold can ruin the taste and appearance of fresh-market grapes, according to Smilanick.

For organic growers, Botrytis is especially troublesome because these producers can't use the typical treatment, , to quell it. That's why, if commercialized, M. albus could benefit conventional and organic growers alike.

Smilanick, who is based at the ARS San Joaquin Valley Center near Parlier, Calif., collaborated in Muscodor experiments with microbiologist Monir Mansour and visiting scientist Franka M. Gabler--both at Parlier--and with industry colleagues.

Muscodor acts as a natural fumigant by emitting compounds, harmless to people and animals, that can kill or inhibit the spread of certain other , such as B. cinerea. For example, in experiments with packaged Thompson Seedless grapes, Smilanick and co-investigators found that Muscodor reduced the incidence of Botrytis-infected grapes by up to 85 percent.

A 2009 article in the journal Plant Disease documents their findings.


Explore further

Helpful yeast battles food-contaminating aflatoxin

Provided by United States Department of Agriculture
Citation: Table grapes' new ally: Muscodor albus (2010, April 16) retrieved 15 August 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2010-04-table-grapes-ally-muscodor-albus.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors