Submitted to: Manejo Integrado De Plagas Y Agroecologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/5/2007
Publication Date: 11/20/2007
Citation: Robles, W., Pantoja, A., Abreu, E., Pena, J., Ortiz, J., Lugo, M.D., Cortes, M., Macchiavelli, R. 2007. Effects of Cultural Practices on the Incidence of Aphids and Virosis on Carica Papaya L. Manejo Integrado De Plagas Y Agroecologia. 77:38-42.
Interpretive Summary: Papaya, Carica papaya L., originated in tropical America and it is currently grown in all tropical and in many subtropical regions of the world. Papaya is mainly cultivated for its edible fruit, but medical, and industrial uses have been documented. There are 134 species of arthropods that affect papaya. Most of the species belong to the Hexapoda, while twelve belong to the Acarina. Twenty-six species are fruit flies in the family Tephritidae. Eighty-seven species can potentially attack or damage the fruit, but are mainly associated with the foliage or the trunk. One species is a seed borer. Five species affect the flowers, and three species are root feeders. At least twelve species are known vectors of important papaya diseases. In different papaya growing areas, fruit flies, leafhoppers, mites, mealybugs and scale insects are considered key pests requiring frequent pesticide applications. Fruit flies are the most important papaya pests either due to their direct effect on the fruit or for quarantine related issues. Aphids and leafhoppers are key pests due to their vector capacity, and mealybugs and scales for quarantine related issues. This work present report on cultural practices to manage aphids and virosis in papaya fields. The cover crop, W. trilobata, did not affect aphid density, whereas, aphid relative density increased on weedy plots. The utilization of plastic mulch is an effective practice against aphids and viral diseases in papaya.
Technical Abstract: Trials were conducted at the Agricultural Experimental Station of the University of Puerto Rico at Isabela and Corozal to evaluate the effect of reflective plastic mulch, black plastic mulch, green cover crop (weeds and Wedelia trilobata) and bare ground on the incidence of alate aphids and viral diseases. In both experiments the P.R. 6-65 variety was used in a completely randomized design with 5 repetitions. The presence of viral symptoms was determined visually every 15 days. The relative abundance of aphids was determined weekly and the total mean number of aphids per day calculated for each treatment. In Isabela, the use of plastic mulch (reflective and black) reduced aphid population density and delayed the appearance of viral symptoms. In both localities, the best yields were related to the use of plastic mulch. The cover crop, W. trilobata, did not affect aphid density, whereas, aphid relative density increased on weedy plots. It is concluded that the utilization of plastic mulch is an effective practice against aphids and viral diseases in papaya.