Influence of weather conditions on the quality of ‘Ingrid Marie’ apples and their susceptibility to grey mould infection
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021
Apple (Malus domestica) is one of the most popular fruits consumed around the world. Environmental factors influence the development and quality of apples. We determined the influence of weather conditions on the quality of ‘Ingrid Marie’ apples harvested from eight different orchards in south Sweden in the years 2015–2017 and their susceptibility to infection by grey mould (Botrytis cinerea). We infected apples and collected data on fruit firmness, starch index, weight of fruit and lesion size in addition to collecting data on temperature, rainfall, sunlight and humidity in the period April–September. High rainfall in early April, during tree flowering, and in early June, during early fruit development, correlated with improved quality, namely reduced lesion size and low firmness level. Furthermore, with humidity higher than 77% in early June apples became more tolerant to grey mould, while low temperatures and high humidity in a period from the end of August to end of September, during the end of the fruit cell enlargement stage, correlated with larger apples. We conclude that rainfall, humidity and temperature are important weather factors influencing the quality of apples and their susceptibility to grey mould. This information may help apple growers understand the effects of weather conditions on apples more in detail. From such updated information, preharvest techniques may be applied (e.g. pruning, nutrition, irrigation or drainage) to improve conditions and apple quality as well as to reduce their susceptibility to pathogen attack.