Green mold, caused by Penicillium digitatum, is the leading cause of citrus decay in Japan. Due to a ban on the post-harvest fungicide application in Japan, the preharvest application of benzimidazoles has been used and demonstrated good efficacy since 1971. A benzimidazole resistant P. digitatum strain was first isolated from a packinghouse in 1974, and more cases were reported in subsequent years. On the other hand, very few cases were reported from the grove for two decades. However, by the mid-1990s, when the field incidences of benzimidazole resistant strain started to increase, the effect of benzuimidazoles became unstaible. An alternative to a benzimidazoles, iminoctadine triacetate, exhibited good antifungal activity against P. digitatum in vitro, but its efficacy was inconsistent in the field. We examined the efficacy of a mixed application of iminoctadine triacetate and benzimidazoles against each fungicide by itself based on five years of data from multiple locations. The results indicated a synergistic suppression on green mold, where the efficacy of the mixture was consistently greater than treatments with either fungicide alone. The improved efficacy was considered acceptable for a practical use by the industry, and lead to a development of a pre-mixed commercial product, Beftopsin flowable in 2006.
Part of the book: Citrus Pathology