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Globally mango is one of the most marketed fruits, its demand would be completely supplied if it were not for problems such as anthracnosis.

It is clear that as organic fruits are their growth and maturation process carry natural risks such as pests, diseases, among others that threaten their mass production.

For Casa Fresca it is essential to have a solution to obstacles that may occur in our way, that is why working with dedication and effort we have managed to be exporters of fruits of the country, adhered to the rules of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the Food Code (CODEX ALIMENTARIUS).

What is anthracnosis?

There are a number of factors that affect the quality of mango production, as anthracnosis does, this disease is caused by a mushroom Colletotrichum spp, which is easily multiplied in climates with high humidity levels and in wet soils, producing in the fruit stains in the form of tears, which first present small size and then grow darker and become darker , which disable it for domestic consumption and export.

This fungus is the main pre- and post-harvest disease of mango and in turn this crop is the most economically important host of antracnosis (Colletotrichum spp), it attacks the foliage, flowers and fruit of mango.

The genus Colletotrichum began to be described by Corda in the early 19th century and the species Colletotrichum gloeosporioides was initially described by Penz. and Sacc in the year 1,884. This disease escalates from the phenomenon of the child, causing great economic damage.

That is why plantations must be constantly monitored, to take appropriate preventive measures to combat it, which produce as few side effects as possible.

Antracnosis symptoms

It is easy to confuse anthracnosis with alternating because its effects are quite similar, however, the symptoms of anthracnosis are:

Small necrotic spots that begin on the shoulders of the fruit where the conidia develop and infect it in conditions of high relative humidity. The presence of free water in small amounts on the shoulder of the fruit allows that, as a result of gravity, it moves to the apex of it, it carries with it a large number of conidia that infect the fruit in its path and produce necrotic stains that together are called “stains of tear”. These necrotic spots compromise the mesocarp (pulp) of the fruit.

In contrast, Alternaia stains are caused only in lenticels. The conidia of Alternaria fall into the lenticels of the fruit and, by the effect of the high relative humidity, develop in this space and produce necrosis in them, which causes group necrotic spots on the fruit. The fungus does not cross the epicarpi (shell) of the fruit and does not reach the mesocarp (pulp) of the fruit.

Preventive management of pre-cast anthracnosis

If the fungus is present in the field it is impossible that after post-harvest management the fruit is of the best quality, this is why it is necessary to take measures in the plantations so that the fruit is free from the pathogen when harvested.

For this reason it is very important to take preventive measures to prevent the pathogen from presenting on the plantation, there are several methods, one of them is the alteration of the flowering season to ensure that the development of the fruits occurs during dry periods (this also applies to off-season production for lucrative market opportunities) , another method could be the use of biological controls with antagonistic endophyte fungi, the use of biological control agent microorganisms that act as antagonism against various pathogens such as Rodhotorula minuta, Bacillus subtilis, Trichoderma sp

Today, natural products are widely accepted and increasingly replace synthetic products or artificially generated materials. In response to this trend there has been a growing interest in researching the possible use of essential oils, plant extracts, among others.

These fungi are optional, that is, in addition to growing in plants can also be produced in remains of dead trees and in this sense it is essential to resort to the sanitation of the field through sanitary pruning.

Chemical fungicides should be used as a last resort, we as a FAO member country are in the interests of all its provisions regarding the use of pesticides; permitted products and maximum doses allowed.

Management of post-school anthracnosis

This disease is the primary cause of post-harvest loss, the importance of each disease depends on the area of production and the techniques used for its pre- and post-harvest management.

Some of the post-harvest methods used are chemical or biological:

  • Use of chemical fungicides, which should be in adhere to FAO’s provisions regarding the use of pesticides; products allowed and maximum doses.
  • Cooling: this method can be efficient, however, the mango is a fruit prone to cold damage, which is why it must remain at a temperature between 10 to 13oC, external sources of ethylene should be avoided and the fruit ripening process is likely to be delayed while it remains under cooling.
  • Heat: hot water, hot air vapour or heat are processes used to combat flies, this method is economical and effective, this method reduces anthracnosis noticeably, however, it should be used with great care since the fruit can receive damage caused by heat.
  • Biological or organic: Biological, physical or organic methods have been studied that have had a greater and lesser degree of success.

There is the waxed heat treatment of the handle, it is quickly immersed in high temperature water to remove the spores from the fungus, this water contains wax that coats and reduces the fungus in the skin of the handle.

An alternative is the use of biocontroller agents that inhibit the development of pathogenic phyto. The efficiency of these biologics has improved over time and is expected to continue to improve.

It should be noted that, in Fresh House, it is extremely important that the disease is controlled both during production and post-harvest, so that the process is completely effective and the fruits are of export quality.

The care of our product is our greatest responsibility, we keep abretified of possible threats that exist, such as anthracnosis and how to keep it under control so that our customers are not affected and receive the best fruits in the country.

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