Studies on the occurrence of postharvest decay of garlic bulbs (Allium sativum L.).
Studies on 14 batches of winter garlic from different origins in Germany showed losses from postharvest decay to average 12.0% (w/w) during the 2.5 month drying period and 21.6% (w/w) during the subsequent 6-9 month storage period. Penicillium spp. and an unidentified, mostly soilborne Botrytis sp. (probably B. porri) caused c. 75% of losses, Helminthosporium allii being less important (6.1%) and pathogenic bacteria (1.6%), Fusarium spp. and Sclerotium cepivorum being found only occasionally. Typical symptoms are described, with their incidence and variation by year and batch, and infection pathways and physiological effects are discussed. Results are given of experiments to study the effects on decay of (a) the presence of leaves in the stored garlic, (b) fungicide treatments and (c) storage conditions, and measures to reduce losses are discussed in the light of these studies.