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Influence of Lobesia botrana Field Control on Black Aspergilli Rot and Ochratoxin A Contamination in Grapes

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The grape berry moth Lobesia botrana is a key pest in vineyards in southern Europe. Damage caused by L. botrana larvae may encourage growth of black aspergilli, leading to ochratoxin A (OTA) accumulation in grapes. Field trials were conducted during three grape growing seasons (2005 through 2007) in Apulia, Italy, to evaluate an insecticide control strategy for L. botrana in the vineyard as an indirect method of reducing OTA contamination by reducing black aspergilli on the grapes. In the 2005 field trials, the insecticide treatment controlled attacks by L. botrana larvae and reduced OTA concentrations by up to 66% in the must samples of Negroamaro and Primitivo grape varieties. Significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) also were observed in the incidence of black aspergilli. Environmental conditions in 2006 and 2007 resulted in a natural low level of infestation by L. botrana, low levels of OTA in both treated and untreated samples, and no significant differences between treated and nontreated samples. The results of our field study confirm previous reports that L. botrana is an important risk factor for OTA accumulation and are consistent with the hypothesis that controlling L. botrana in vineyards reduces OTA concentrations in grapes.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council, Via G. Amendola 122/O, 70126 Bari, Italy

Publication date: 2009-04-01

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