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A New Spore Precipitator with Polarized Dielectric Insulators for Physical Control of Tomato Powdery Mildew

September 2006 , Volume 96 , Number  9
Pages  967 - 974

Yoshinori Matsuda , Hiroki Ikeda , Nobuyuki Moriura , Norio Tanaka , Kunihiko Shimizu , Wataru Oichi , Teruo Nonomura , Koji Kakutani , Shin-ichi Kusakari , Katsuhide Higashi , and Hideyoshi Toyoda

First to seventh and eleventh authors: Laboratory of Plant Pathology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Kinki University, Nara 631-8505, Japan; eighth author: Pharmaceutical Research and Technology Institute, Kinki University, Osaka 577-8502, Japan; ninth author: Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences Research Center of Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, 583-0862, Japan; and tenth author: Tsukuba Research Laboratory, Toagosei Co., Ltd., Ibaraki 300-2611, Japan

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Accepted for publication 3 April 2006.

In an attempt to physically protect greenhouse tomato plants from the powdery mildew fungus Oidium neolycopersici, we developed a new electrostatic spore precipitator in which a copper wire conductor is linked to an electrostatic generator and covered with a transparent acrylic cylinder (insulator). The conductor was negatively charged by the generator, and the electrostatic field created by the conductor was used to dielectrically polarize the insulator cylinder. The dielectrically polarized cylinder also produced an electrostatic force without a spark discharge. This force was directly proportional to the potential applied to the conductor and was used to attract conidia of the pathogen. The efficacy of this spore precipitator in protecting hydroponically cultured tomato plants from powdery mildew was evaluated in the greenhouse. The hydroponic culture troughs were covered with a cubic frame installed with the spore precipitator, and the disease progress on precipitator-guarded and unguarded seedlings was traced after the conidia were disseminated mechanically from inoculum on tomato plants. Seedlings in the guarded troughs remained uninfected during the entire experiment, in spite of rapid spread of the disease to all leaves of the unguarded seedlings.

Additional keyword: Lycopersicon esculentum.

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society