Strawberry is a great commercial importance fruit, which provides many nutrients, but it is highly perishable and deteriorates rapidly, mainly due to fungal diseases such as anthracnose (Colletotrichum acutatum). Front of the irregular use of fungicides not registered for post-harvest application in strawberries, essential oils (EO) become a good alternative to fungus control. The EOs of eucalyptus species have known antifungal potencial and can be used in post-harvest strawberry, however, the studies for some Eucalytus species are limited, such as E. urograndis. This project aims to evaluate the antifungal capacity of E. urograndis's EO for control of C. acutatum in strawberries in post-harvest. Therefore, the EO will be extracted from the leaves of E. urograndis and evaluated in vitro and in vivo. At in vitro step, the EO antifungal capacity will be evaluated for fungal growth restriction inoculated in the center of a Petri plate containing different concentrations of the product. The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC), i.e., the lowest concentration of the product which provide 100% inhibition of fungal growth will be incorporated into the edible coating carboxymethylcellulose, and their antifungal effectiveness is evaluated in the preventive mode in three treatments (T1- edible coating + inoculation preventively; T2- edible coating + EO + inoculation preventively; T3- fruit without edible coating and without EO) in five periods of storage (2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 days). In this way, we intend to develop a natural product that control anthracnose in strawberries and contribute to the increase of its shelf life.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: