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Msc. in plant science

Interaction of Botrytis cinerea with Strawberry
(Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) under Far-red: Blue LEDs

Botrytis cinerea is the most important necrotrophic fungal pathogen infecting about 200 species of crops. Along with field crops, its devastating effect in control environment cropping system is of major concern. Being a fragile fruit, strawberries are greatly affected by grey mold caused by Botrytis cinerea. Current management strategies, primarily fungicides, face challenges due to the pathogen's genetic variability and widespread fungicide resistance. While considering the pathogen’s response to light for inducing adaptive response, this study explores an innovative approach using light manipulation to inhibit the morphogenesis of B. cinerea and enhance plant resistance. The adaptability, energy efficiency, and customizable spectrum of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) offer promising tools for this purpose. Recent research has demonstrated that specific wavelengths of light, particularly red, far-red, and blue, can significantly affect plant-pathogen interactions by altering the pathogen development and increasing host resistance. Based on these findings, our study aimed to evaluate the effects of different light ratios of far-red to blue light (5:1, 1:5, and 1:1) on strawberry resistance to B. cinerea, with a particular focus on changes in the pathogen morphogenesis and role of secondary metabolites in plant defense. Various assays for determination of mycelial growth, sporulation, spore germination and leaf disease progression will be performed including HPLC techniques for metabolite analysis.

Petrasch, S., Knapp, S. J., Van Kan, J. A., & Blanco‐Ulate, B. (2019). Grey mould of strawberry, a devastating disease caused by the ubiquitous necrotrophic fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea. Molecular Plant Pathology, 20(6), 877-892.

Meng, L., Van Labeke, M.-C., & Höfte, M. (2020). Timing of light quality affects susceptibility to Botrytis cinerea in strawberry leaves. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, 211, 111988.


Badmi, R., Gogoi, A., & Doyle Prestwich, B. (2023). Secondary Metabolites and Their Role in Strawberry Defense. Plants, 12(18), 3240.


Lauria, G., Lo Piccolo, E., Pellegrini, E., Bellini, E., Giordani, T., Guidi, L., Lorenzini, G., Malorgio, F., Massai, R., & Nali, C. (2021). Photosynthetic traits and biochemical responses in strawberry (Fragaria× ananassa Duch.) leaves supplemented with LED lights. Photosynthetica, 59(4), 557-569.

Cervantes, L., Martinez-Ferri, E., Soria, C., & Ariza, M. T. (2020). Bioavailability of phenolic compounds in strawberry, raspberry and blueberry: Insights for breeding programs. Food Bioscience, 37, 100680.


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