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Molecular epidemiology and management of postbloom fruit drop of citrus in new planting areas in São Paulo State


Citrus crop in São Paulo State is migrating from North and Central regions that concentrate 75% of citrus production to new areas in the Southeast. The objective of this migration is to keep citrus production as a profitable business (Neves et aI., 2007). The main reasons for the migration are: lower values of land in Southeast region, compared to traditional planting areas, and lower costs of production (Neves & Jank, 2006; Tozatti, 2007). In the Southeast region irrigation (an expensive culture management) is not needed as there is a high frequency of rainy days. In these new circumstances, under different environment, citrus will need new strategies for crop management. Weather in this region is favorable to the occurrence of postbloom fruit drop (Tozatti, 2007), caused by Colletotrichum acutatum. This disease is not important in other regions of São Paulo State (Northeast/North and Centre) because of its sporadic occurrence, but it is considered the main disease in the Southeast region (Feichtenberger et al., 2005). This disease can cause the drop of up to 100% of young fruit. For this reason its control is absolutely necessary in orchards where it occurs frequently. Control of postbloom fruit drop is made by preventive fungicide spraying during bloom. Costs of chemical treatment to control postbloom fruit drop are estimated in US$ 553/ha, considering that one tractor is used for 50 ha (Salvo Filho, 1994). Preventive control of the disease exclusively based on the phenological host stage commonly causes excessive fungicide spraying with adverse effects to the environment. The continuous application of the same fungicide (or active ingredient) in an orchard frequently selects resistant strains of the pathogen. In this case the fungicide becomes inoperative. In order to improve disease management and to reduce the cost of fungicide spraying, epidemiological behavior of the pathosystem must be known. There is very few information available on the epidemiology of postbloom fruit drop of citrus. Most of them were produced in Central America and USA. It is still unknown in the State of Sao Paulo the way and the period of inoculums survival between blooming, the environmental conditions favorable to infection, the inoculums variability inside the orchards and the specificity of C. acutatum isolates to Citrus species. It has not been determined as well the pattern and distances of inoculums dispersal, influence of weather variables to the disease progress and spatial distribution of diseased plants. Considering the lack of information in Sao Paulo State, it is not surprising that forecast systems developed in Florida to control this disease have not been adopted by citrus growers from São Paulo. The main objectives of this project are: (i) to characterize the spatial distribution of the inoculums and the disease progress in orchards at the Southeast region of Sao Paulo State; (ii) to understand different phases of disease cycle, particularly the mechanisms of inoculums survival, pathogen variability and pathogen infection and colonization; (iii) to test different alternatives to the chemical control that is used by growers and validate/develop disease forecasts systems adapted to the Sao Paulo conditions. (AU)

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Scientific publications (12)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
LIMA, WALERIA GUERREIRO; SPOSITO, MARCEL BELLATO; AMORIM, LILIAN; GONCALVES, FABRICIO PACKER; MELO DE FILHO, PERICLES ALBUQUERQUE. Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, a new causal agent of citrus post-bloom fruit drop. European Journal of Plant Pathology, v. 131, n. 1, p. 157-165, . (08/54176-4)
RODRIGUES MARQUES, JOAO PAULO; MISAKI SOARES, MARLI KASUE; APPEZZATO-DA-GLORIA, BEATRIZ. New staining technique for fungal-infected plant tissues. TURKISH JOURNAL OF BOTANY, v. 37, n. 4, p. 784-787, . (09/00425-6, 08/54176-4)
SILVA-JUNIOR, GERALDO JOSE; SPOSITO, MARCEL BELLATO; MARIN, DENIS ROGERIO; AMORIM, LILIAN. Efficacy and timing of application of fungicides for control of citrus postbloom fruit drop. CROP PROTECTION, v. 59, p. 51-56, . (08/54176-4)
GONCALVES, FABRICIO PACKER; NOGUEIRA JUNIOR, ANTONIO F.; SILVA-JUNIOR, GERALDO JOSE; CIAMPI-GUILLARDI, MAISA; AMORIM, LILIAN. Environmental requirements for infection of Colletotrichum acutatum and C. gloeosporioides sensu lato in citrus flowers and prevalence of these pathogens in Brazil. European Journal of Plant Pathology, v. 160, n. 1, . (08/54176-4)
GASPAROTO, M. C. G.; LOURENCO, S. A.; TANAKA, F. A. O.; SPOSITO, M. B.; MARCHINI, L. C.; SILVA JUNIOR, G. J.; AMORIM, L.. Honeybees can spread Colletotrichum acutatum and C-gloeosporioides among citrus plants. PLANT PATHOLOGY, v. 66, n. 5, p. 777-782, . (11/20472-9, 08/54176-4)
MARQUES, JOAO PAULO R.; AMORIM, LILIAN; SPOSITO, MARCEL B.; APPEZZATO-DA-GLORIA, BEATRIZ. Ultrastructural changes in the epidermis of petals of the sweet orange infected by Colletotrichum acutatum. PROTOPLASMA, v. 253, n. 5, p. 1233-1242, . (09/00425-6, 08/54176-4)
FRARE, G. F.; COUTO, H. T. Z.; CIAMPI-GUILLARDI, M.; AMORIM, L.. The causal agent of citrus postbloom fruit drop, Colletotrichum acutatum, can survive on weeds. AUSTRALASIAN PLANT PATHOLOGY, v. 45, n. 4, p. 339-346, . (08/54176-4)
CIAMPI-GUILLARDI, MAISA; BALDAUF, CRISTINA; SOUZA, ANETE PEREIRA; SILVA, GERALDO JOSE; AMORIM, LILIAN. Recent Introduction and Recombination in Colletotrichum acutatum Populations Associated with Citrus Postbloom Fruit Drop Epidemics in Sao Paulo, Brazil. PHYTOPATHOLOGY, v. 104, n. 7, p. 769-778, . (08/54176-4)
SILVA-JUNIOR, G. J.; SPOSITO, M. B.; MARIN, D. R.; RIBEIRO-JUNIOR, P. J.; AMORIM, L.. Spatiotemporal characterization of citrus postbloom fruit drop in Brazil and its relationship to pathogen dispersal. PLANT PATHOLOGY, v. 63, n. 3, p. 519-529, . (08/54176-4)
RODRIGUES MARQUES, JOO PAULO; AMORIM, LILIAN; SPOSITO, MARCEL BELLATO; MARIN, DENIS; APPEZZATO-DA-GLORIA, BEATRIZ. Infection of citrus pollen grains by Colletotrichum acutatum. European Journal of Plant Pathology, v. 136, n. 1, p. 35-40, . (09/00425-6, 08/54176-4)
CIAMPI, M. B.; BALDAUF, C.; VIGNA, B. B. Z.; SOUZA, A. P.; SPOSITO, M. B.; AMORIM, L.. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci in Colletotrichum acutatum, the causal agent of postbloom fruit drop on citrus. CONSERVATION GENETICS RESOURCES, v. 3, n. 4, p. 651-654, . (08/54176-4)

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