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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Plant Pathology Research » Research » Research Project #435956

Research Project: Thermotherapy For Non-Chemical Management Of Cryptic Infections Of Strawberry Transplants And Emerging Fungicide Resistant Populations

Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

Project Number: 6034-22000-042-033-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2018
End Date: Aug 31, 2021

1. Evaluation of the effect of temperature on survival of Phytophthora species. 2. Determine the effectiveness of heat treatment for foliar nematode management. 3. Evaluate the effect of heat treatment on plant survival and growth characteristics of recently-released strawberry cultivars. 4. Disseminate information produced in objectives 1 to 3 to stakeholders. ARS is responsible for portions of objective 3.

Heat treatment via hot water dipping to control angular leaf spot, caused by Xanthomonas fragariae, has been reported by Turechek and Peres (2009). Although the hot water treatment at 44°C for 4 h significantly reduced the bacterial populations, some adverse effects on strawberry plants were observed, including the minor effect on vegetative growth of plants and significant delay or reduction in flowering. These adverse impacts are cultivar-dependent but have become the primary concern for growers of fruit production fields and, consequently, one of the biggest obstacles to implementation of the hot water treatment. For objective 3, we hypothesize that heat treatment via a plant sauna (steam) will not affect or only have limited impacts on plant survival, runner production, and flower production of strawberry transplants, and as a result, ease the concerns of strawberry growers about heat treatment.