ABILITY OF COLORED MULCHES AND GROWTUBES TO DETER THRIPS AND REDUCE INCIDENCE OF TOMATO SPOTTED WILT

W.G. Foshee III, T.A. Monday, M.J. Kelley, J.L. Sibley , M. Lollar, E.K. Blythe, J.F. Murphy, J.E. Brown
A field study was conducted in east-central Alabama, USA in 2008 to evaluate the influence of colored plastic mulch on ability of thrips to locate tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum). Mulch colors (red 1, red 2, and violet) were mulches manufactured (Pliant Corp., Washington, GA, USA) based on ultraviolet reflectance, which has been shown to repel thrips, were compared to standard black and silver mulches. Thrips counts and yields were taken weekly. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests were conducted early-season and mid-season to test for the presence of Tomato spotted wilt (TSWV). Silver mulch had lower cup counts, flower counts, and higher yields than all other treatments. No differences were observed among mulch colors for early-season TSW incidence. Red 1 and violet mulches had lower TSWV incidence at the mid-season evaluation as compared to standard black plastic mulch. Silver mulch was similar to all other treatments at this later sampling date.
Another field study was conducted in east-central Alabama in 2008 to evaluate the influence of growtubes (BLUE-X® Shelters made of blue-tinted, partially transparent polyester film; BLUE-X® Enterprises, Inc., Sacramento, CA) on the ability of thrips to locate tomato plants. Growtubes sizes (diameter × height: 22.9×33.0, 15.2×33.0, 22.9×45.7 and 15.2×45.7 cm) were evaluated, along with a non-treated control. Thrips counts, yields, and height measurements were taken weekly. ELISA tests were conducted early-season and mid-season to test for TSW. Thrips cup counts were lower in the early-season evaluation for plants grown with all sizes of growtubes compared with non-treated plants. Thrips flower counts showed no differences among treatments. Non-treated plants produced greater marketable fruit weight and counts than did plants grown with the taller growtubes (15.2×45.7 and 22.9×45.7 cm). However, plants grown with the shorter growtubes (15.2×33.0 and 22.9×33.0 cm) were similar in overall yields to non-treated plants. Incidence of TSW was not significantly different among treatments in early-season testing, and only marginally different in late-season testing. Plant height was greater for plants grown with growtubes compared with non-treated plants.
Foshee III, W.G., Monday, T.A., Kelley, M.J., Sibley , J.L., Lollar, M., Blythe, E.K., Murphy, J.F. and Brown, J.E. (2015). ABILITY OF COLORED MULCHES AND GROWTUBES TO DETER THRIPS AND REDUCE INCIDENCE OF TOMATO SPOTTED WILT . Acta Hortic. 1069, 197-201
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1069.28
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1069.28
ultraviolet reflectance, visual cueing, disease transmission
English

Acta Horticulturae