Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) for disease and pest management and automating UV-C delivery technology for strawberry

F. Takeda, W. Janisiewicz, B. Short, T. Leskey, A. Stager
Alternative disease and pest management strategies are needed due to increased resistance by strawberry pathogens and arthropod pests to currently used synthetic pesticides and increasing consumer demands for fruit without pesticide residues. Thus, novel approaches that are ecologically sound, sustainable and do not rely on the application of synthetic chemicals are urgently needed. Prior research on ultraviolet (UV) light to control fungal diseases was hampered by high plant damage. In 2011, we developed a method for controlling diseases of strawberry with night-time conventional UV-C (254 nm) irradiation treatment, which resulted in lowering of UV-C doses required to kill fungi (Botrytis cinerea, Podosphaera aphanis, and Colletotrichum acutatum and gloeosporioides) and subsequently this work was extended to control arthropod pests (e.g., two-spotted spider mite) with no adverse effects on the strawberry plant. Here we report on further progress made on field UV-C application technology (e.g., robotics and UV-C light array), control of spotted wing Drosophila with UV-C light, effect of UV-C irradiating on fungal pathogens causing anthracnose (Colletotrichum spp.) with low UV-C doses (≤36 J m‑2) of 254 nm and farUV at 220 nm and induction of fungal resistance in strawberry plants with UV-C irradiation.
Takeda, F., Janisiewicz, W., Short, B., Leskey, T. and Stager, A. (2021). Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) for disease and pest management and automating UV-C delivery technology for strawberry. Acta Hortic. 1309, 533-542
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1309.76
Fragaria, anthracnose, two-spotted spider mite, Colletotrichum, robotics, dark period, automation, robot

Acta Horticulturae