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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection

Project Number: 1931-21000-019-54-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2012
End Date: Sep 30, 2013

Research has demonstrated that the white, reflective particle film used to repel a wide range of insects also reduces plant temperature and heat stress, while reflecting UV radiation and altering the phytochrome-sensitive wavelengths of visible light. Field studies have documented that the reduction of plant temperature results in increased photosynthesis and often water use efficiency, and the reduction of UV radiation has reduced oxidative stress. Research will identify critical plant growth stages and mechanisms by which the particle film increases photosynthesis, water use efficiency, and improve food quality. This fundamental knowledge will be incorporated with particle film application for insect control in order to effectively apply the particle film materials in a commercial setting. The results will enhance the multi-functionality of particle film technology for use in a broad range of crops.

1) Develop leaf and canopy reflectance/transmission models and incorporate them into sophisticated crop gas exchange models. These models will incorporate: a) the reflectance/transmission characteristics of specific minerals and formulations, b) the leaf reflectance/transmission characteristics of different plant species, and c) the reflectance/transmission characteristics of specific formulations on the plant leaf. 2) Develop leaf level gas exchange data for key horticultural and field crops. These data serve as the starting point of the crop modeling process. Data already exist for cotton, soybeans, corn, wheat, and rose. 3) Validate modeling with whole plant gas exchange studies in growth chambers. This work will provide a rational basis for selecting which crops can be expected to respond to a reflection-based treatment in specific environments. In addition, it will provide insight into the necessary characteristics of formulations.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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