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Posts Tagged: fruit

How Do Monarchs Know When to Migrate? Bohart Museum Open House Jan. 18

Eight microscopes will be available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on Jan. 18. Visitors can view the research projects of doctoral students. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

How do monarch butterflies know when to migrate? Take the case of a male monarch reared, released and tagged by Steven Johnson in a Washington State University...

Eight microscopes will be available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on Jan. 18. Visitors can view the research projects of doctoral students. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Eight microscopes will be available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on Jan. 18. Visitors can view the research projects of doctoral students. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Eight microscopes will be available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on Jan. 18. Visitors can view the research projects of doctoral students. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ants will be the topic of Zachary Griebenow of the Phil Ward lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. This image shows emeritus professor Jerry Powell of UC Berkeley identifying insects at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ants will be the topic of Zachary Griebenow of the Phil Ward lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. This image shows emeritus professor Jerry Powell of UC Berkeley identifying insects at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ants will be the topic of Zachary Griebenow of the Phil Ward lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. This image shows emeritus professor Jerry Powell of UC Berkeley identifying insects at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, January 17, 2020 at 2:25 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Innovation, Pest Management

Evaluating the efficacy of anti-stress supplements on strawberry yield and quality

Good nutrient management is essential not only for optimal plant growth, but also for maintaining good plant health and the ability of the plant to withstand biotic and abiotic stressors.  Strawberry, a $3.2 billion commodity in California, requires good nutrient, water, and health management throughout its lengthy fruit production cycle.  In addition to the primary nutrient inputs, certain supplements can be beneficial to the crop.  A study was conducted in fall-planted strawberries from 2017 to 2018 using a plant-based anti-stress agent, humates, and sulfur, and a special formulation of NPK as supplements to the standard fertility program to evaluate their impact on strawberry fruit yields and quality.

Methodology

Strawberry cultivar Albion was planted during the second week of December 2017 in 38” wide beds with two rows of plants per bed.  This study included the following treatments:

1. Grower standard (GS) program included a total of 6.13 gallons of Urea Ammonium Nitrate Solution 32-0-0, 2.59 gallons of Ammonium Polyphosphate Solution, and 6.95 gallons of Potassium Thiosulfate (KTS 0-0-25) to 0.5 acres of the strawberry field.  These fertilizers were applied between 5 January and 18 May 2018 approximately at weekly intervals through the drip irrigation system.  Additionally, 1 quart of Nature's Source Organic Plant Food 3-1-1 was applied on 5 and 22 January 2018 and again on 5 February 2018. 
2. GS + Bluestim at 3.6 lb/ac in 53 gallons applied as a foliar spray with 0.125% Dyne-Amic once every three weeks for a total of six times.  Bluestim is an osmoregulator containing >96% of glycine betaine that is expected to protect plants from abiotic stressors.
3. GS + SKMicrosource Ultrafine powder at 1.4 oz in 4 gallons applied as a foliar spray once a month for a total of three times along with SKMicrosource prill applied at 500 lb/ac at the base of the plant once.  Both products contain elemental sulfur, sulfite, and sulfate along with potassium, micronutrients, and rare earth minerals.  Additionally, the prill form also has humates.  These products are expected to improve plants' natural defenses against biotic stressors like pests and diseases.
4. GS + ISO NPK 3-1-3 at 8 fl oz/ac in 100 gallons once every two weeks for a total of four times.  ISO NPK 3-1-3 contains isoprenoid amino complex extracted from a desert shrub guayule (Pathenium argentatum), which is expected to improve nutrient uptake and protect plants from abiotic stressors.

The first application of supplements for treatments 2-4 started on 1 March 2018.  Each treatment had a 30' long plot marked on a bed replicated four times in a randomized complete block design.  The fruit was harvested one to two times per week between 3 April and 14 June 2018 and the weight of marketable and unmarketable berries was determined for each plot.  Using a penetrometer, fruit firmness was measured from four fruits from each plot on 3, 16, and 23 April and 14 May 2018.  Sugar content was also measured from two fruits from each plot on those four sampling dates.  Postharvest health was measured from the fruit harvested on 16 and 23 April and 21 and 31 May 2018.  Fruit was kept in perforated plastic containers (clamshells) at room temperature and the growth of gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) and Rhizopus fruit rot (Rhizopus spp.) was rated 3 and 5 days after harvest on a scale of 0 to 4 (where 0=no disease, 1=1-25% fruit with fungal infection, 2=26-50% infection, 3=51-75%, and 4=76-100%).  Data were analyzed using the analysis of variance in Statistix software.

Results

There were no statistically significant (P > 0.05) differences among the treatments in any of the measured parameters.  However, the marketable fruit yield was nearly 11% higher in the treatment that received SKMicrosource supplements.  While the average sugar content was 9.5 oBx in the grower standard, it varied between 9.7 and 9.8 in other treatments.  Similarly, the average disease rating during the postharvest fruit evaluation was 1.00 for the standard at 3 days after harvest, while it varied between 0.25 and 0.50 for the other treatments.  Average disease rating at 5 days after harvest was between 2.25 and 2.50 for all treatments.

Table 1. Total marketable and unmarketable fruit yield per plot during the study period

Table 2. Fruit firmness and sugar content on four observation dates and their averages

Table 3. Postharvest fruit disease rating 3 and 5 days after four harvest dates

Discussion
The crop was generally healthy during the study period and there were no signs of any abiotic stresses such as salinity, water stress, and extreme temperature fluctuations, or biotic stresses such as pests or diseases except for uniform weed growth in the furrows and some areas of the beds.  Since these supplements are expected to help the plants under stressful conditions, significant differences could not be found, probably due to the lack of unfavorable growth conditions.  It also appears from the manufacturer's studies that ISO NPK 3-1-3 performs better at 4 fl oz/acre - half the rate recommended for this study.  Additional studies can help further evaluate the potential of these supplements both under normal and stressed conditions and at different application rates and frequencies.

Acknowledgments
Thanks to the technical assistance of Dr. Jenita Thinakaran in carrying out the study, the field staff at the Shafter Research Station for the crop maintenance, the financial support of Biobest and Heart of Nature, and to Beem Biologics for providing the test material.

Posted on Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 11:52 AM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

Five shades of gray mold control in strawberry: evaluating chemical, organic oil, botanical, bacterial, and fungal active ingredients

Botrytis fruit rot or gray mold, caused by Botrytis cinerea, is common fruit disease in California strawberries (Koike et al. 2018).  Botrytis cinerea has a wide host range infecting several commercially important crops including blueberry (Saito et al. 2016), grapes (Saito et al., 2019), and tomato (Breeze, 2019).  Fungal infection can cause flower or fruit rot.  Fruit can be infected directly or through a latent infection in the flowers.  Moist and cool conditions favor fungal infections and increased sugar content in the ripening fruit can also contribute to the disease development.  Initial symptoms of infection appear as brown lesions and a thick mat of gray conidia is characteristic symptom in the later stages of infection.  As chemical fungicides are primarily used for gray mold control, fungicide resistance is a common problem around the world (Panebianco et al., 2015; Liu et al., 2016; Stockwell et al., 2018; Weber and Hahn, 2019).  In strawberry, cultural control options such as removing diseased plant material or using cultivars with traits that can reduce gray mold infections may not be practical when the disease is widespread in the field or cultivar choice is made based on other factors.  Non-chemical control options are necessary to help reduce the risk of chemical fungicide resistance, prolong the life of available chemical fungicides, achieve desired disease control, and to maintain environmental health.  Although there are several botanical and microbial fungicides available for gray mold control, limited information is available on their efficacy in California strawberries.  A study was conducted in the spring of 2019 to evaluate the efficacy of several chemical, botanical, and microbial fungicides in certain combinations and rotations to help identify effective options for an integrated disease management strategy.

Methodology

Strawberry cultivar San Andreas was planted late November, 2018 and the study was conducted in April and May, 2019.  Each treatment had a 20' long strawberry plot with two rows of plants replicated in a randomized complete block design.  Plots were maintained without any fungicidal applications until the study was initiated.  Table 1 contains the list of treatments, application rates and dates of application, and Table 2 contains the type of fungicide used and their mode of action.  Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae s.l. are California isolates of entomopathogenic fungi, isolated from an insect and a soil sample, respectively.  These fungi are pathogenic to a variety of arthropods and some strains are formulated as biopesticides for arthropod control.  However, earlier studies in California demonstrated that these fungi are also known to antagonize plant pathogens such as Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. vasinfectum Race 4 (Dara et al., 2016) and Macrophomina phaseolina (Dara et al., 2018) and reduce the disease severity.  To further evaluate their efficacy against B. cinerea, these two fungi were also included in this study alternating with two chemical fungicides.

Treatments were applied with a CO2-pressurized backpack sprayer using 66.5 gpa spray volume.  Five days before the first spray application and 3 days after each application, all ripe fruit were harvested from each plot and incubated at the room temperature in vented plastic containers.  The level of gray mold on fruit from each plot was rated using a 0 to 4 scale (where 0=no disease, 1=1-25% fruit with fungal infection, 2=26-50% infection, 3=51-75%, and 4=76-100%) 3 and 5 days after each harvest (DAH).  Due to the rains, fruit could not be harvested after the 3rd spray application for disease rating, but was harvested and discarded after the rains to avoid cross infection for the following week's harvest.  Data were analyzed using analysis of variance using Statistix software and significant means were separated using Least Significant Difference separation test.

Results

Gray mold occurred at low to moderate levels during the study period.  Along with B. cinerea, there were a few instances of minor fungal infections from Rhizopus spp. (Rhizopus fruit rot) and Mucor spp. (Mucor fruit rot).  Pre-treatment disease ratings were statistically not significant (P = 0.6197 and 0.5741) 3 and 5 DAH.  While the chemical standard treatment with the rotation of Captan, Merivon, Switch, and Pristine (treatment 2) appeared to result in the lowest disease rating throughout the observation period, treatments 3 and 5 after the 1st spray application, treatments 5 and 11 along with 3, 4 and 6 after the 2nd spray application, and treatments 3 and 5 along with 11 after the 4th spray application also had similar disease control at 3 DAH.  When disease at 5 DAH was compared, the lowest rating was seen in treatment 2 after the 1st and 2nd spray applications, and treatments 2, 3, and 11 after the 4th application.  Several other treatments also provided statistically similar control during these days.

When the average disease rating for the three post-treatment observation events was considered, treatment 2, 3, 5, and 11 had the lowest disease at both 3 and 5 DAH.  Treatments 4 and 12 at 3 DAH also had a statistically similar level of disease control to treatment 2. 

In general, most of the treatments provided moderate to high control compared to the disease in untreated control when the post-treatment averages were considered.  Only treatment 7 and 13 had lower control at 3 DAH.

Discussion

This study compared a variety of registered and developmental products along with two entomopathogenic fungi in managing B. cinerea.  Considering the fungicide resistance problem in B. cinerea in multiple crops, having multiple non-chemical control options is very important to achieve desirable control with integrated disease management strategies.  Since the active ingredients in the botanical and bacterial fungicides used in this study are not public, discuss will be limited on their modes of action and efficacy at this point.  Similarly, the active ingredient of WXF-17001 is also not known, however, an earlier study by Calvo-Garrido et al. (2014) demonstrated that a fatty acid-based natural product reduced B. cinerea conidial germination by 54% and disease severity in grapes by 96% compared to untreated control.  The product used by Calvo-Garrido et al. (2014) is thought to be fungistatic and reduce the postharvest respiratory activity and ethylene production in fruits.

While chemical fungicides have a specific mode of action, biological and other products act in multiple manners either directly antagonizing the plant pathogen or by triggering the plant defenses.  For example, amending the potting medium with biochar resulted in induced systemic resistance in tomato and reduced B. cinerea severity by 50% (Mehari et al., 2015).  Luna et al. (2016) also showed that application of β-aminobutyric acid and jasmonic acid promoted seed germination and long-term resistance to B. cinerea in tomato.  Burkholderia phytofirmans, beneficial endophytic bacterium, offered protection against B. cinerea in grapes by mobilizing carbon resources (callose deposition), triggering plant immune system (hydrogen peroxide production and priming of defense genese), and through antifungal activity (Miotto-Vilanova et al. 2016).  Similarly, entomopathogenic fungi such as B. bassiana are also known to induce systemic resistance against plant pathogens (Griffin et al. 2006).  Compared to other options evaluated in the study, entomopathogenic fungi have an advantage of controlling both arthropod pests and diseases, while also having plant growth promoting effect (Dara et al. 2017).

Rotating fungicides with different mode of actions reduces the risk of resistance development and using some combinations will also maintain control efficacy.  This study provided the efficacy of multiple control options and their combinations and rotations for B. cinerea.  This is also the first study demonstrating the efficacy of entomopathogenic fungi against B. cinerea in strawberry.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Sipcam Agro and Westbridge for funding the study, technical assistance of Hamza Khairi for data collection, and the field staff at the Shafter Research Station for the crop maintenance.

References

Breeze, E.  2019.  97 Shades of gray: genetic interactions of the gray mold, Botrytis cinerea, with wild and domesticated tomato.  The Plant Cell 31: 280-281.  https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00030

Calvo-Garrido, C., A.A.G. Elmer, F. J. Parry, I. Viñas, J. Usall,  R. Torres,  R.H. Agnew, and  N. Teixidó.  2014.  Mode of action of a fatty acid-based natural product to control Botrytis cinerea in grapes.  J. Appl. Microbiol. 116: 967-979.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jam.12430

Dara, S. K., S. S. Dara, S.S.R. Dara, and T. Anderson.  2016.  First report of three entomopathogenic fungi offering protection against the plant pathogen, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. vasinfectum.  UC ANR eJournal of Entomology and Biologicals https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=22199  

Dara, S. K., S.S.R. Dara, and S. S. Dara.  2017.  Impact of entomopathogenic fungi on the growth, development, and health of cabbage growing under water stress.  Amer. J. Plant Sci. 8: 1224-1233.  https://doi.org/10.4236/ajps.2017.86081

Dara, S.S.R., S. S. Dara, and S. K. Dara.  2018.  Preliminary report on the potential of Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae s.l. in antagonizing the charcoal rot causing fungus Macrophomina phaseolina in strawberry.  UC ANR eJournal of Entomology and Biologicals https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=28274

Griffin, M. R., B. H. Ownley, W. E. Klingeman, and R. M. Pereira.  2006.  Evidence of induced systemic resistance with Beauveria bassiana against Xanthomonas in cotton.  Phytopathol. 96.

Koike, S. T., G. T. Browne, T. R. Gordon, and M. P. Bolda.  2018.  UC IPM pest management guidelines: strawberry (diseases).  UC ANR Publication 3468. https://www2.ipm.ucanr.edu/agriculture/strawberry/Botrytis-Fruit-Rot/

Liu, S., Z. Che, and G. Chen.  2016.  Multiple-fungicide resistance to carbendazim, diethofencardb, procymidone, and pyrimethanil in field isolates of Botrytis cinerea from tomato in Henan Province, China.  Crop Protection 84: 56-61.

Luna, E., E. Beardon, S. Ravnskov, J. Scholes, and J. Ton.  2016.  Optimizing chemically induced resistance in tomato against Botrytis cinerea.  Plant Dis. 100: 704-710. https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-03-15-0347-RE

Mehari, Z. H., Y. Elad, D. Rav-David, E. R. Graber, and Y. M. Harel.  2015.  Induced systemic resistance in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) against Botrytis cinerea by biochar amendment involves jasmonic acid signaling.  Plant and Soil 395: 31-44.

Miotto-Vilanova, L., C. Jacquard, B. Courteaux, L. Wortham, J. Michel, C. Clément, E. A. Barka, and L. Sanchez.  2016.  Burkholderia phytofirmans PsJN confers grapevine resistance against Botrytis cinerea via a direct antimicrobial effect combined with a better resource mobilization.  Front. Plant Sci. 7: 1236. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.01236

Panebianco, A., I. Castello, G. Cirvilleri, G. Perrone, F. Epifani, M. Ferrarra, G. Polizzi, D. R. Walters, and A. Vitale.  2015.  Detection of Botrytis cinerea field isolates with multiple fungicide resistance from table grape in Sicily.  Crop Protection 77: 65-73.

Saito, S., T. J. Michailides, and C. L. Xiao.  2016.  Fungicide resistance profiling in Botrytis cinerea populations from blueberry in California and Washington and their impact on control of gray mold.  Plant Dis. 100: 2087-2093. https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-02-16-0229-RE

Saito, S., T. J. Michailides, and C. L. Xiao.  2019.  Fungicide-resistant phenotypes in Botrytis cinerea populations and their impact on control of gray mold on stored table grapes in California.  European J. Plant Pathol. 154: 203-213.

Stockwell, V. O., B. T> Shaffer, L. A. Jones, and J. W. Pscheidt.  2018.  Fungicide resistance profiles of Botrytis cinerea isolated from berry crops in Oregon.  Abstract for International Congress of Plant Pathology: Plant Health in A Global Economy; 2018 July 29-Aug 3; Boston, MA.

Weber, R.W.S. and M. Hahn.  2019.  Grey mould disease of strawberry in northern Germany: causal agents, fungicide resistance and management strategies.  Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 103: 1589-1597.

Posted on Monday, July 8, 2019 at 4:13 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Innovation, Pest Management

UC Davis Spring Seminars: from Fruit Flies to Ants to Spider Glue and More!

A fruit fly, spotted wing drosophila, on a raspberry. The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's first spring seminar is on fruit flies.  Alistair McGregor of Oxford Brookes University, England, will speak. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Medical entomologist Geoffrey Attardo, assistant professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, has lined up the department's spring seminars for...

A fruit fly, spotted wing drosophila, on a raspberry. The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's first spring seminar is on fruit flies.  Alistair McGregor of Oxford Brookes University, England, will speak. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A fruit fly, spotted wing drosophila, on a raspberry. The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's first spring seminar is on fruit flies. Alistair McGregor of Oxford Brookes University, England, will speak. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A fruit fly, spotted wing drosophila, on a raspberry. The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's first spring seminar is on fruit flies. Alistair McGregor of Oxford Brookes University, England, will speak. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, March 25, 2019 at 5:49 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Innovation, Pest Management

What a Difference These Four UC Davis Entomologists Are Making!

Spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, infesting a raspberry. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

They study bees, ants, fruit flies and spider flies. And that's just a small portion of what they do. And what a difference they're making! Four UC Davis entomologists won...

Spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, infesting a raspberry. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, infesting a raspberry. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, infesting a raspberry. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, heading toward a California poppy. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, heading toward a California poppy. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, heading toward a California poppy. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, March 11, 2019 at 4:27 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Natural Resources, Pest Management, Yard & Garden

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