Fruit and vegetables

Monace of the stone fruit

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Monace of the stone fruit

The stone fruit monilia is a fungal disease that affects all stone fruit, especially peaches and apricots. Plants affected by the fungus manifest: foliage with dark, reddish or brown spots; young shoots that dry up; zoning on the branches, from which a rubbery exudate comes out; fruits with yellowish spots of mold, or with ring molds that spread over the entire pulp. The fruits can fall from the plant, or remain hanging on their peduncle, with an almost mummified appearance. There are two pathogens that cause this fungal problem: Monilinia laxa, which attacks the whole plant, including the leaves; Monilinia fructigena which mainly attacks the fruits and thin branches. These two parasitic fungi produce mycelia and conidia which are carried by the wind, and which can overwinter on the vegetation around the fruit trees, and then attack the plants when the warm spring warmth arrives.


Biological cycle

It is a mushroom that remains from year to year in the orchard; the dehiscent fruits of the previous year, the branch cancers, the leaves attacked by the parasite, pretend to be incubation centers, from which the fungus emits its spores, which spread throughout the orchard thanks to the wind. Generally the greatest development of conidia occurs in late spring, with high minimum temperatures, when the plants are already in full fruiting. A single diseased plant within the orchard can host enough mycelia to infect all the other nearby plants, it is therefore essential to treat the disease, even if it is a small family orchard, to avoid spreading the fungus even in gardens and orchards neighbors. The first year in which the pathology occurs often does not have disastrous effects on crops, also because it tends to attack unripe ripe fruits, or small weak sprigs; it is from the following year on that the mushroom can spread rapidly, compromising a good percentage of the fruits.

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