Changes in the Fungal Community Assembly of Apple Fruit Following Postharvest Application of the Yeast Biocontrol Agent Metschnikowia fructicola

Antonio Biasi, V Yeka Zhimo, Ajay Kumar, Ahmed Abdelfattah, Shoshana Salim , Oleg Feygenberg , Michael Wisniewski, Samir Droby*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recently, increasing focus has been placed on exploring fruit microbiomes and their association with their hosts. Investigation of the fruit surface microbiome of apple has revealed variations in the composition and structure depending on management practices, phenological stages, and spatial distribution on the fruit itself. However, the fate of the fruit surface microbiome assembly and dynamics in apple following interventions such as the application of biocontrol agents remains unknown. The objective of the study was to explore the effect of a postharvest application of a yeast biocontrol agent, Metschnikowia fructicola, on the composition of the epiphytic fungal microbiota on apples during cold storage. Our results demonstrated that the applied biocontrol agent, M. fructicola, persisted in high abundance (>28% relative abundance) on the fruit surface throughout the storage period. The biocontrol application significantly decreased the richness and caused a significant shift in the overall composition and structure of the fungal microbiome relative to untreated or water-treated controls. The yeast application reduced the abundance of several apple fungal pathogens, namely, Alternaria, Aspergillus, Comoclatris, Stemphylium, Nigrospora, Penicillium, and Podosphaera, throughout the cold storage period
Original languageEnglish
Article number360
JournalHorticulturae
Volume7
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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