Grey mould caused by Botrytis cinerea is the most important post-harvest disease affecting strawberry fruit. This disease is normally controlled by application of fungicides. Increasing public concern over the use of conventional pesticides prompted an investigation as to whether induced systemic acquired resistance (SAR) might be used to help suppress B cinerea on strawberry fruit. Acibenzolar (S-methyl benzo[1,2,3]thiadiazole-7-carbothioate) is a chemical activator of SAR. When applied to strawberry plants at 0.25–2.0 mg AI ml −1, acibenzolar delayed by about 2 days the development of grey mould disease on harvested strawberry fruit held at 5 °C. This delay was equivalent to a 15–20% increase in storage life of the fruit. This preliminary finding suggests that acibenzolar, or perhaps other chemical plant activators, could prove valuable in the commercial management of grey mould on strawberry fruit.
© 2000 Society of Chemical Industry