Submitted to: Pear International Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 7, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Particle film technology has been recently developed to control both arthropod pests and diseases of plants, as well as improving plant productivity. The particle film is based on kaolin, a white, nonabrasive, fine-grained, aluminoisilicate mineral [Al4Si4O10(OH)8] that has been structurally altered and sized to impart film-forming properties and improve light transmission. Plants coated with a particle film barrier become white and are visually or tactilely unrecognizable as a host. In addition, the white particle film is loosely bound to the leaf and attaches to the insect's body to irritate and repel them. The particle film also creates a physical barrier that prevents fungal and bacterial disease inoculum from initiating infection. Various formulations were tested over several years to determine their efficacy in controlling arthropod pests and disease. High levels of early-season pear psylla (Cacopsylla pyricola Foerster) control and pear rust mite were obtained by seasonal application of particle films in 1997 can carry-over into the 1998 season to suppress early season pear psylla oviposition. The fungal disease, fabraea leaf spot was also controlled by particle film applications. Pear yields were nearly doubled while maintaining standard pear size in particle film treatments as compared to untreated and conventional pesticide treatments. Particle films proved to be a multifaceted tool for control of arthropod pests and diseases of pear, and enhancement of pear yields.