Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Cullage Assessment & Education

Quick Identification Guide to Apple Postharvest Defects & Disorders

Postharvest Diseases

The Diseases section of the card set includes all the major fungal diseases found in stored Washington apples. This section also includes a Symptom Comparison Table to help. At a later date more cards may be developed for this section which would include any newly discovered pathogens. For ordering information visit the Order Information section of the Introduction. The cards shown on this site are slightly modified to accomodate web formatting. Figures may appear fragmented in some browsers. Please report viewing problems here. Any reproduction of the card images or content without permission is in violation of WSU Copyright policies.

Postscript:  Since the publication of this card set, a new fungal disease was discovered and identified, Phacidiopycnis washingtonensis, AKA Speck rot. This fungas has become a serious quarantine pest for some export markets, such as China. Dr. YK Kim and Dr. CL Xiao, both formerly of WSU, fully describe this disease in their paper found here. Although not found in the printed card set, we have included a description of this disease with the other fungal disease below.



DISEASES: Sphaeropsis Rot  

Sphearopsis rot symptoms

Sphaeropsis rot (Sphaeropsis pyriputrescens) is a newly reported postharvest disease of apples and pears. First discovered in D’Anjou pears, but was later determined to cause worse problems in apples. In one case, 24% of the apples in bins were rotted by this disease after several months of storage. Sphaeropsis rot has occurred on Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Fuji, and Granny Smith.

Figure 1: Sphaeropsis rot originating from a stem infection on a Golden Delicious apple; decayed area brown, firm.
Figure 2: Sphaeropsis rot originating from a calyx infection on a Red Delicious fruit.
Figure 3: Sphaeropsis rot originating from a calyx infection on a Fuji apple.
Figure 4: Internal decayed flesh is light tan to brown; a strong distinct “bandagelike” odor is commonly associated with Sphaeropsis rot, particularly when fruit is cut.

Sphearopsis rot symptoms
Sphearopsis rot symptoms Sphearopsis rot symptoms

Additional Resources A factsheet guide specifically about Sphaeropsis rot can be downloaded here.
A newly produced factsheet about pruning 'Manchurian' crabapple pollinizer trees to reduce orchard disease inoculum was released to the Pacific Northwest tree fruit industry. The factsheet can be downloaded here.




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