Flowering to Harvest

The pineapple flower is a primary portal for the entrance of several fruit-disease pathogens (Fig. 9.23). At anthesis, openings occur via the stylar canals and nectary ducts into the locules and nectary glands, respectively. These openings become the primary sites for infection by the bacterial and fungal fruit-disease pathogens. The susceptibility of these infection sites depends on environmental conditions, as they affect the predisposition of the flower and the occurrence of the pathogen on the flower. Occurrence of the pathogen on the flower may be dependent on an insect vector or development of the pathogens on the inflorescence prior to anthesis.

The multiple requirements for flower infection are: (i) a means of getting the pathogen to the susceptible flower; (ii) a susceptible flower at the right time; and (iii) optimal environmental conditions for disease development for each factor. These multiple requirements have resulted in complex aetiologies and very sporadic occurrence of the fruit diseases.

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