Impact of Ultraviolet-Blocking Plastic Films on Insect Vectors of Virus Diseases Infesting Crisp Lettuce

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Díaz Desani, Beatriz M. ; Biurrun, R. ; Moreno, Aránzazu ; Nebreda, Miguel ; Fereres, Alberto (2006)
  • Publisher: American Society for Horticultural Science
  • Subject: Whiteflies | Pests | Lactuca sativa | TSWV | Potyvirus | Virus | UV-blocking film | Photoselective barrier | Aphids | Thrips
    mesheuropmc: food and beverages | fungi

Ultraviolet (UV)-absorbing plastic films are being used as a photoselective barrier to control insect vectors and associated virus diseases in different horticultural crops. A 2-year experiment was carried out in northeastern Spain (Navarra) to evaluate the impact of a UV-blocking film (AD-IR AV) on the population density of insect pests and the spread of insect-transmitted virus diseases associated with head lettuce [Lactuca sativa (L.)]. Results showed that the UV-absorbing plastic film did not loose its ability to filter UV radiation after three lettuce crop cycles (14 months). The UV-absorbing plastic film was effective in reducing the abundance and in delaying the colonization of lettuce by aphids [Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Thomas) and Acyrthosiphum lactucae (Passerini)]. A significant increase in the percentage of marketable plants was achieved under UV-absorbing films due to a reduction in the number of plants infested by aphids and by insect-transmitted virus diseases (mainly potyviruses). Also the UV-absorbing plastic films were effective in reducing the population density of Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) and the spread of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) as well as the population density of the lepidopteran pest, Autographa gamma (L.), a common pest of lettuce in Spain. However, no effective control of the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) was achieved. The results showed that UV-absorbing plastic films are a very promising tool to protect greenhouse lettuce from the main pests and insect-transmitted virus diseases occurring in northeastern Spain
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