of China Australia Food Security Cooperation Initiative (CAFSCI)

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Postharvest handling and disease control in melons

Overview of Project

This project documented the harvest, handling and marketing of melons in Western China and assessed the feasibility of using novel “defence eliciting” treatments for postharvest disease control. A joint initiative between the University of Sydney and the Argricultural University of China. The project focused on identification of the causes of postharvest melon losses in Australia and China and tested novel strategies towards the control of postharvest melon diseases. Novel strategies were urgently required to replace benomyl, which was withdrawn from postharvest use in Australia as of 31/12/1996.

Key Outcomes of Project
  1.  documentation of postharvest melon handling systems and the major causative agents responsible for postharvest melon loss in China. This will be done using the Australian system as a standard for comparison and testing the Australian control measures in China to reduce postharvest melon losses;
  2. investigation of the factors affecting the resistance of melons to the diseases. These include
    • test of resistant cultivars,
    • evaluation of systemic inducing resistance (SIR) agents and
    • understanding of environmental factors on the expression of host resistance;
  3. preliminary development of biocontrol methods for control of postharvest melon diseases.
Project Dates

01 Jul 1997 - 31 Dec 1998


Participants in China came from three laboratories (Gansu Melon Research Institute - Sichuan Pomological Institute and China Agricultural University) and a Department of Agriculture (Melon Quality Control Authority - Xingjiang Department of Agriculture) and in Australia from the University of Sydney and NSW Agriculture in association with the Sydney Postharvest Laboratory (based at CSIRO Food Science & Technology).China Agricultural University - China


Dr Y Huang



02 9351 1807

Launch Website