Plant Pathology Department
Horticultural Sciences Department
Entomology and Nematology Department
Plant Pathology Department, North Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida, IFAS, 155 Research Road, Quincy 32351
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Accepted for publication 21 April 2004.
Epidemics of spotted wilt caused by Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) vectored by Frankliniella occidentalis and possibly other thrips species occur regularly in tomato in the southeastern United States. Field experiments were conducted to determine the effects of UV-reflective mulch, acibenzolar-S-methyl (plant activator), and insecticides on progress of tomato spotted wilt incidence and population dynamics of flower thrips (including F. occidentalis, F. tritici, and F. bispinosa). Whole plots of tomatoes grown on UV-reflective and black polyethylene mulch were divided into subplots of acibenzolar-S-methyl and no acibenzolar-S-methyl, and sub-subplots of insecticide and no insecticide for thrips control. The UV-reflective mulch was more effective than black polyethylene mulch each year in reducing colonization of thrips in May and the consequent primary infections of tomato spotted wilt. Application of acibenzolar-S-methyl further reduced tomato spotted wilt incidence in 2000 and 2002, when disease pressure was great. Reproduction of thrips on tomato was poor in these experiments, but their control in the insecticide-treated sub-subplots prevented secondary spread in both years. The combination of UV-reflective mulch, acibenzolar-S-methyl, and insecticides was very effective in reducing tomato spotted wilt incidence in tomato.
© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society