Survival of Erwinia amylovora on pears and on fruit containers in cold storage and outdoors.
The survival of Erwinia amylovora during cold storage or outdoors may be a relevant factor in the spread of fireblight. The survival of E. amylovora was studied in cold storage on pear fruits, on container materials and on packaging paper, and outdoors on wood (oak and poplar) and on polyethylene. The samples were contaminated with a bacterial suspension of a mutant strain, washed, concentrated by centrifugation, and the final concentrates were used for plate counting. In cold storage, reisolation from the calyx was successful even after 101 days, whereas on pear surfaces, it was unsuccessful after just 1 day. On oak and poplar wood, reisolation was obtained up to 77 days in cold storage for both types of wood, but only up to 27 and 55 days, respectively, outdoors. Reisolation from packaging paper in cold storage was successful up to 14 days. Reisolation from polyethylene outdoors was unsuccessful after 24 h. Survival curves were calculated for each material. On the basis of a model of inoculum transmission, and using the survival curves, a phytosanitary risk period for the different types of materials was estimated.