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Post Harvest Diseases:: Vegetables:: Tomato
Gray Mold: Botrytis cinerea
  • Lesion - a watery area with a light brown or tan-colored central region.
  • Converted into a soft, watery mass within a few days.
  • Skin is broken, the grayish mycelium and spore clusters develop within a few hours.
  • Halo forms around the point of entry -small whitish rings approximately - develop on young green fruit.
  • "ghost spots" are usually single rings but may be solid white spots;the center of which contain dark-brown specks.
Tan-colored central region Mycelium Soft watery mass Rotten tomato
Identification of pathogen:
  • Greek botrys, meaning a bunch of grapes
  • One-celled spores are borne on branched conidiophores
  • Sclerotia -measure up to 3 mm - smaller & thinner 
  • Germinate to produce conidiophores or, rarely, give rise to small cup-shaped structures (apothecia)

Favourable condition:

  • Optimum RH for spore production is about 90%
  • Spores are produced during the night when the temperature is lower and the RH is higher than during the day.
  • Ideal Temperatures of 17–23 °C
  • The length of the surface wetness period needs to be longer at the lower temperatures for disease development

Spread and survival:

  • Botrytis produces sclerotia which survive in soil, dead plant material, or on different host plants
  • Easily disperse large distances by wind & shorter distances by splashing and windblown rain
  • Fruit can be infected through the stem scar, growth cracks, or other breaks in the skin
  • Plants approaching maturity are more susceptible


  • Ensure good drainage facility
  • In the greenhouse, maintain a RH of less than 80%, during the night
  • Remove decaying plant material from the plant bed
  • Avoid bruising during packing and transport
  • Pre harvest spray 0.2% captan at monthly intervals

Content validator:
Dr. M. Deivamani, Assistant Professor, Horticulture Research Station, Yercaud-636602.

Source of Images:

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