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Acta Horticulturae

Pomegranate (Punica granatum L., Lythraceae) is an ancient plant and fruit, native to central Asia. Since the pomegranate tree is highly adaptive to a wide range of climates and soil conditions, it is grown in many different geographical regions including the Mediterranean basin. Fruit rot, also known as “heart rot” or “black heart”, is a major pomegranate disease impacting production worldwide. Although black heart is mostly recognized as a postharvest quality problem, diseased fruits are observed in the orchard. We have previously demonstrated that A. alternata is the causal agent of black heart disease of pomegranate in Israel. The pathogen infects the flower at bloom but visual symptoms are observed later, as the fruits mature. The symptoms initiate at the calyx area in the lower loculi, and later expand to the entire fruit. In a previous study, it was found that fruits developing on different branches of the same tree, or on different trees in the orchard, might differ in their response to A. alternata. The aim of the present study was to develop a method for quantifying the response of asymptomatic pomegranate fruits to A. alternata. © 2019 International Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.

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A method for quantifying the response of asymptomatic pomegranate fruit to Alternaria alternata, the causal agent of black heart disease of pomegranate
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A method for quantifying the response of asymptomatic pomegranate fruit to Alternaria alternata, the causal agent of black heart disease of pomegranate

Pomegranate (Punica granatum L., Lythraceae) is an ancient plant and fruit, native to central Asia. Since the pomegranate tree is highly adaptive to a wide range of climates and soil conditions, it is grown in many different geographical regions including the Mediterranean basin. Fruit rot, also known as “heart rot” or “black heart”, is a major pomegranate disease impacting production worldwide. Although black heart is mostly recognized as a postharvest quality problem, diseased fruits are observed in the orchard. We have previously demonstrated that A. alternata is the causal agent of black heart disease of pomegranate in Israel. The pathogen infects the flower at bloom but visual symptoms are observed later, as the fruits mature. The symptoms initiate at the calyx area in the lower loculi, and later expand to the entire fruit. In a previous study, it was found that fruits developing on different branches of the same tree, or on different trees in the orchard, might differ in their response to A. alternata. The aim of the present study was to develop a method for quantifying the response of asymptomatic pomegranate fruits to A. alternata. © 2019 International Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.

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