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Strawberry cultivars grown under protected structure and their susceptibility to natural infestation of the cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover


, : Strawberry cultivars grown under protected structure and their susceptibility to natural infestation of the cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover. Hortscience 38(5): 806, August

The cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover (Homoptera: Aphididae), is one of the most important greenhouse pests worldwide. This soft- bodied insect secretes honeydew, which results in a sooty mold that blocks the photosynthetic leaf area reducing the growth capability of the plant, and potentially causing yield reduction. In order to determine the susceptibility of the strawberry (FragariaXananassa Duch.) to natural infestation of the cotton aphid in a passive ventilated greenhouse, seven strawberry cultivars were grown and evaluated. The cultivars Carmine, Festival, Camarosa, Treasure, Sweet Charlie, Earlibrite and FL 97-39 were planted at a density of 22 plants per m2. No insecticide was used. Ten strawberry leaflets were selected at random, and the total number of aphids per leaflet was counted weekly. Five releases of Aphidius colemani L. and one of Lysiphlebus testaceipes L. at an approximately rate of 200 wasps per 18 m row were made. 'Sweet Charlie' and 'Carmine' sustained the greatest average number of aphids per leaflet throughout all the growing season; while 'FL97-39' and 'Camarosa' had the lowest number of aphids per leaflet. The population dynamics of the aphid continued to rise in all cultivars from late November to mid- January; however, 95% aphid control was achieved by the end of February. The yield for 'FL 97-39' was the greatest, which correlated with the lowest number of aphids per leaflet throughout the season; however that cultivar had the greatest susceptibility to powdery mildew.

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