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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Xiao, Chang-Lin
Supervisory Research Plant Pathologist
(559) 596-2722
9611 S. Riverbend Avenue
Parlier CA 93648

The mission of the Commodity Protection and Quality Research Unit is to develop alternative chemical and non-chemical(e.g., biological, physical) treatments to replace methyl bromide use on horticultural stored products to meet quarantine needs, to preserve or extend domestic and export markets, to ensure quality maintenance of California-grown horticultural commodities, extend storage life, and reduce postharvest losses caused by senesence decay, pathogens, insect pests and postharvest treatments. The research is conducted under National Programs 303 (Plant Diseases), 304 (Crop Protection and Quarantine), 306 (New Uses, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products) and 308 (Methyl Bromide Alternatives). Research is focused on the basic and reproductive biology, phenology, and host preferences of stored product and quarantine pests. Key pests include codling moth, tropical fruit flies, olive fruit fly, navel orangeworm, stored product pests, and quarantine pests of hay. Research includes development of heat and cold treatments; MB trapping technology; alternative chemicals for insect disinfestation; insect pathogens and beneficial insects as stored product insect control agents; and genetically engineered walnuts for control of quarantine and stored product pests. Research also includes: combining controlled atmosphere with high temperatures and/or fumigants; physiological and insect-plant interaction studies; physical and chemical detection systems; use of behavior governing chemicals to control and/or detect insect infestations; and basic biology and integrated pest management systems combining control methods developing in the above research approaches. The research also focuses on preserving quality and reducing postharvest losses caused by senescence, decay, pathogens, insect pests, and postharvest treatments; and on gaining a better understanding of physiological, biochemical and nutritional causes of postharvest changes in horticultural crops.

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