Assessment of Responses of Peach Cultivars to Postharvest Pathogen Botrytis Cinerea and its Mitigation using Plant Essential Oils

Zahra Ahmad, Huma Abbas, Tamsal Murtaza, Atta ur Rehman Khan, Anasr Ali, Khizra Zahid, Zunaira Tahir, Tahir Mahmood, Amer Habib


In peaches, post-harvest losses occur due to injury during mishandling, storage, processing, and transportation, especially caused by pathogen infections that result in the reduction of quantity, quality, and market value of agricultural commodities. Numerous postharvest pathogens attack peaches, especially Botrytis cinerea, which causes grey mold disease, resulting in losses of about $10 billion globally. The current paper reports the results of a study that investigated the occurrence of different fungi and the effect of different essential oils on mold growth in five peach cultivars. The study found that Penicillium expansum, Botrytis cinerea, Aspergillus flavus, and A. niger had different preferences and distributions among the cultivars. The study also found that Florida King 6-A was resistant to B. cinerea, while Early Gold was highly susceptible. The study also found that cinnamon oil was the most effective essential oil in controlling mold growth in Florida King 6-A, while sesame oil was the least effective in Early Grand. The study also found that clove bud oil at 100% concentration had the highest antifungal potency among the tested essential oils and that different concentrations of essential oils were required for different cultivars. These findings highlight the varying levels of susceptibility among peach cultivars to fungal pathogens and the varying degrees of effectiveness associated with different essential oils in mitigating fungal growth. Such insights are invaluable for agricultural practices aiming to protect peach crops from fungal infections and optimize yield.


Prunus persica; Postharvest pathogens; Plant essential oils; Disease resistance; Antifungal activity

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