Potential application of propolis extracts to control the growth of stemphylium vesicarium in 'Rocha'pear

Marcella Loebler, Claudia Sánchez, Elisabete Muchagato Maurício, Eugénio Diogo, Mário Santos, Paula Vasilenko, Ana Sofia Cruz, Benilde Mendes, Margarida Gonçalves, Maria Paula Duarte

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14 Citations (Scopus)
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Stemphylium vesicarium (Wallr.) E. G. Simmons is the pathogen responsible of brown spot disease in pear and has become one of the main concerns for European pear producers. In Portugal, S. vesicarium is responsible for significant yield reduction and economic losses in "Rocha" pear (Pyrus communis L. cv Rocha) production. Considering the antimicrobial potential of propolis, the high incidence of brown spot in pears and the emergence of fungicides resistance in S. vesicarium, this study aimed to evaluate the potential of Portuguese propolis as an alternative strategy to control brown spot disease in "Rocha" pear. In vitro assays showed that propolis extracts were able to inhibit up to 90% the S. vesicarium mycelial growth. In vivo assays in artificially wounded and inoculated "Rocha" pears showed that, compared to the control, the disease incidence decreased up to 25% and the lesions diameter up to 57%, in fruits treated with propolis. Moreover, propolis seems to be more efficient in reducing the disease incidence when applied after pathogen inoculation (curative assay) than when applied before pathogen inoculation (prophylactic assay). Thus, the results suggest that propolis extracts have potential to be applied as part of an integrated approach for the control of brown spot of pear.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1990
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2020


  • Antifungal activity
  • Biological control
  • Brown spot disease
  • Pear fungal disease
  • Portuguese propolis


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