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Disease of Tree Fruit and Nut Crops

Disease of tree fruit and nut cropsThis thematic series was published in
CABI Agriculture and Bioscience.

CABI Agriculture and Bioscience

Guest Edited by: Clive Bock1 & Xiangming Xu2
1 USDA Agricultural Research Service, USA
2 East Malling Research, UK

A wide range of different pathogens affect tree fruit and nut crop production. These crops are affected throughout the various regions they are cultivated, including temperate, sub-tropical and/or tropical areas of the world. Collectively, the pathogens of these crops account for considerable loss in yield (both pre- and post-harvest), and fruit and nut quality; some of the pathogens are responsible for producing mycotoxins, further reducing quality. Many of the pathogens are endemic, yet others are exotic, and their management is further associated with unique issues. The broad range of pathogens may affect foliage, wood, flowers, roots and developing fruit or nuts. In most cases they include readily identifiable pathogenic agents, including fungal pathogens, bacteria and viruses, but also, relatively amorphous, less definable conditions including replant diseases. 

Indeed, knowledge of different aspects of the tree fruit and nut diseases and the pathogens that cause them is variable, and in many cases very fragmentary. Even basic knowledge is lacking for many. Perennial tree fruit and nut crops offer unique challenges to disease management due to their longevity, growth habits and size. New research, using novel molecular-based techniques and other tools is accelerating our understanding of many aspects of the pathogens involved, contributing to our eventual ability to manage them more effectively. Many of the tree species are produced in nurseries with scion cultivars grafted to their rootstocks; infection in nurseries may stay latent for many months (even years) and only presenting when planted in orchards. 

The lack of knowledge presents major problems to effective management of many of the diseases caused by these agents. The size of these tree crops offers unique challenges to researchers on how to sample and assess diseases (roots, foliage, trunk and fruit) for accurate quantification of spatiotemporal disease development. 

Aims and Scope: This series aimed to collate the latest research on the epidemiology, population biology and microbial interactions of the pathogens that afflict tree fruit and nut crops, with an emphasis on disease management.

Articles published in this collection:

  1. The grafting of apple rootstocks on to scions confers benefits including reduced tree size/dwarfing for trellis based growing systems, increased tolerance to physiological stress, and pest and disease manageme...

    Authors: Lucas A. Shuttleworth, Sonia Newman and Ioannis Korkos
    Citation: CABI Agriculture and Bioscience 2023 4:37
  2. The incidence of wilt disease of cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) caused by Fusarium sp. has recently emerged in two-year-old cashew trees in an experimental field at the Regional Agricultural Research Station,...

    Authors: A. V. Meera Manjusha, P. K. Laya, Amal Premachandran and M. Veena
    Citation: CABI Agriculture and Bioscience 2023 4:7
  3. Apple blotch (AB) caused by Diplocarpon coronariae (Dc) has been established in Europe since 2010. AB is a serious apple disease, mostly in low input orchards and in cider production areas in Northern Italy, Swit...

    Authors: Thomas Oberhänsli, Anna Dalbosco, Virginie Leschenne, Anne Bohr, Sascha Buchleither, Lucius Tamm, Lukas Wille, Srđan G. Aćimović, Fatemeh Khodadadi, Young-Hyun Ryu, Bruno Studer, Hans-Jakob Schärer and Andrea Patocchi
    Citation: CABI Agriculture and Bioscience 2021 2:21
  4. Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) is an important native nut crop in the southern USA. In the Southeast, scab (caused by Venturia effusa) is a major constraint to production, and can result in significant yield losses....

    Authors: Clive H. Bock, Yanina Alarcon, Patrick J. Conner, Carolyn A. Young, Jennifer J. Randall, Cristina Pisani, Larry J. Grauke, Xinwang Wang and Maria J. Monteros
    Citation: CABI Agriculture and Bioscience 2020 1:19
  5. Breeding for resistance to apple scab (caused by Venturia inaequalis), the most devastating fungal disease of apples, relies on genetic resources maintained in germplasm collections.

    Authors: David Papp, Liqiang Gao, Ranjita Thapa, Dan Olmstead and Awais Khan
    Citation: CABI Agriculture and Bioscience 2020 1:16
  6. Apple replant disease (ARD) is a phenomenon associated with poor tree establishment at sites where the same, or a closely-related species, has grown for at least 1–2 years. No single organism has been identifi...

    Authors: Emma L. Tilston, Gregory Deakin, Julie Bennett, Thomas Passey, Nicola Harrison, Felicidad Fernández and Xiangming Xu
    Citation: CABI Agriculture and Bioscience 2020 1:14