Microbiota associated with fruits are strongly affected by agricultural practices, but there is only sparse data available on fungal and bacterial diversity in biologically intensive, organic, and conventional apples and none on pears. In Europe, ciders are traditionally produced through spontaneous fermentation from fruits and equipment-associated microbiota, a practice that imparts distinct organoleptic properties and the chemical profiles. Increased knowledge on appleassociated microbiota is necessary to (1) better manage postharvest pathogens of fresh apple fruit, (2) identify apple-associated microbes with potential for spontaneous or semi-controlled cider production, as well as potential probiotic and health properties. This project aims at determining fungal and bacterial microbiota of Washington apples grown in different regions and different agricultural practices. Resulting data will (1) provide useful knowledge for to study microbial interactions that drive decay development and to enhance management strategies and (2) help explore the potential of natural or semi-controlled fermentation for potential prebiotic or probiotic properties.
- Principal Investigator(s): Amiri, A., Carbonera, F., Edwards, C.
- Grant Amount: $40,000