Can UV-C reduce grey mold in strawberry?
Grey mould is another major fungal infection in strawberry besides mildew, caused by Botrytis cinerea. To control both diseases, regular applications of fungicides are required. If UV-C has an effect on Botrytis, this could further alleviate farmers dependence on chemical pest control.
Effect of UV-C on Botrytis infection limited
In a double cropping cultivation strawberry flowers were inoculated with Botrytis and subsequently exposed to 0, 3, 6, 12 or 20 mJ/cm² UV-C three times a week for two months. Harvested strawberries were inspected three time for the infection rate of grey mould. There was no consistent trend in the three assessments. When looking at the combination of all the assessments, applying 20 mJ/cm² UV-C reduced the total amount of disease infection compared to the lower doses of UV-C. From this trial we can conclude that the application of UV-C during the day can slightly reduce the infection of Botrytis.