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CITRUS DISEASES

Plant parts attacked and damage symptoms

Green mold (Penicillium digitatum)

The fungus survives from season to season primarily as conidia in


the orchard. Infection is initiated by air borne spores that enter the
rind through wounds. After infection, a soft water soaked, slightly
discolored spot appears. White mycelium appears on the surface of
the rind and after it reaches approximately 2.5 cm in diameter,
olive green spores are produced. Sporulation and re-infection can
occur in the field or in the packinghouse. Spore populations can
become quite large if sanitary efforts are not well utilized in the
packinghouse.

Blue mold (Penicillium italicum)

Symptoms of early blue mold infections look almost identical to


green mold or sour rot infections. Disease tissue becomes soft,
watery, and slightly discolored. A white powdery growth of
mycelium develops on the surface of the lesion and eventually a
blue spore mass forms leaving only a narrow white fringe of
mycelium surrounding the lesion.

Anthracnose (Colletotrichum gleosporioides)

Symptoms associated with bruised or injured rind are brown to


black spots, 1.5cm or more in diameter. The decay may appear
firm and dry or, if sufficiently deep-seated, may cause the fruit to
become soft. Under high humidity masses of pink or salmon-
colored spores develop on the lesion surface. Under drier
conditions these spores appear brown or black.

Sour rot (Geotrichum candidum)

Initial symptoms are identical to those of green mold and blue


mold. Lesions appear as water soaked, light to dark yellow, slightly
raised spots. Extra cellular enzymes produced by the fungus
degrade the rind, segment walls and juice vesicles, causing the fruit
to disintegrate into a slimy, watery mass. Under high humidity the
lesion may become covered with a yeasty, sometimes wrinkled
layer of white or cream-colored mycelium.
Diplodia Fruit rot (Diplodia natalensis)

Infections occur most frequently at the stem end of the fruit but
occasionally can occur via injuries on the side or stylar end of the
fruit. The fungus grows rapidly through the spongy central axis of
the fruit. It grows unevenly through the rind, which produces
finger-like projections of brown tissue on the infected fruit.