|Online ISSN : 2349-8080
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Publisher : Excellent Publishers
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2Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture, University of Kirkuk, Kirkuk, Iraq
Penicillium expansum (Link) is one of the most important postharvest pathogens of stored pear fruit worldwide. It causes blue mold rot, a decay that can lead to significant economic losses during storage, which can also impact fruit destined for processing due to the production of carcinogenic mycotoxin patulin and citrinin. In the present study, microbial antagonist of Trichoderma harzianum have been isolated from mushroom compost and tested for antagonistic properties against P. expansum. Assays of biological control of P. expansum on pear fruits were carried out under cold storage condition artificially, by two different methods of inoculation. Significant differences (p<0.0001) were obtained in reducing the lesion diameters of blue mould on wounded pear fruits inoculated artificially either by Dipping or spray with T. harzianum in comparison with the control treatment. There were also significant differences between mean depth of infection in dipping treatment compared to spay method and control, whereas no significant differences were appeared between depth of infection in spray treatment compared to control. Furthermore, results obtained in this study demonstrated that T. harzianum would be an interesting microorganism to be used as a biocontrol agent and could be considered as one of the most promising alternatives for postharvest control of P. expansum. Therefore, integration of T. harzianum by artificially inoculation was effective and might be a safe strategy to control P. expansum infection in pear fruit, and will definitely become an internationally adopted practice.