Latin name: Botrytis cinerea
Reason for Concern:
1) Under the right environmental and field conditions (wet weather during fruit development and poor circulation in the canopy) it can cause significant yield losses.
2) Can remain dormant and disease symptoms do not show up until after the fruit has been harvested.
3) Losses are most severe in wet weather throughout harvest.
Botrytis infects both blooms (called blossom blight) and fruit (called fruit rot). Blossom blight is characterized by petals and pedicels turning brown. The entire blossom may die. Fruit rot may occur on any portion of the fruit. It frequently develops at the calyx end and in tissues contiguous with rotting fruit or diseased flowers. Affected tissue turns light to medium brown. Lesions in green or white fruit develop slowly. The fruit may be misshapen as it enlarges. Fruit rot expands rapidly near harvest. In advanced stages, the fungus produces a gray mold over the fruit surface. Fruit can appear healthy at harvest but develop rot soon after.
Botrytis is a common fungus that cannot be eliminated from fields, only reduced. Same causal agent as blossom blight and fruit rot; the fungus overwinters on weeds and plant debris as black fungal bodies. In spring, under humid conditions, the spores infect new and mature growth via water or wind or direct contact with already infected plant parts.