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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #337851

Research Project: Methyl Bromide Replacement: Post-harvest Treatment of Perishable Commodities

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Title: Nitric oxide fumigation for control of bulb mites on flower bulbs and tubers

Author
item Liu, Yong Biao

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/9/2017
Publication Date: 7/1/2017
Citation: Liu, Y.-B. 2017. Nitric oxide fumigation for control of bulb mites on flower bulbs and tubers. Journal of Economic Entomology. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/tox187.

Interpretive Summary: Bulb mites are important pests of flower bulbs and tubers but are difficult to control due to phase out of methyl bromide fumigation. Nitric oxide is a newly discovered fumigant for postharvest pest control and is effective against a wide variety of pests. In this study, nitric oxide fumigation was tested for efficacy in controlling bulb mites on flower bulbs and tubers. Fumigations with 2 and 3% nitric oxide for 24 h at 20 and 10C achieved complete control of bulb mites. A more severe 24 h fumigation treatment with 3% nitric oxide at 20C was tested on bulbs and tubers of four flower species. The treatments had no negative impact on either germination of flower bulbs and tubers or growth and blooming of flower plants. The study demonstrated that nitric oxide fumigation has potential to be used for control of bulb mites on flower bulbs and tubers.

Technical Abstract: Nitric oxide fumigation was studied for efficacy to control bulb mites in the genus Rhizoglyphus and effects on germination and growth of flower bulbs and tubers. Bulb mites on infested peanuts were fumigated with nitric oxide at different concentrations under ultralow oxygen conditions in 1.9L jars for 4 to 48 h at various temperatures ranging from 2 to 20°C. Bulb mites were susceptible to nitric oxide fumigation treatment. Efficacy of fumigation treatment increased with increased concentration, treatment time, and temperature. Complete control of bulb mites was achieved in 24 h fumigation with 3.0% nitric oxide at 10°C and with 2.0% nitric oxide at 20°C. Bulbs and tubers of four flower varieties were fumigated with 3.0% nitric oxide at 20°C for 24 h to determine safety of nitric oxide fumigation on germination and growth of the flower plants. The nitric oxide fumigation treatments did not have any effects on either germination of flower bulbs and tubers or growth of the flower plants. This study showed that nitric oxide fumigation was effective against bulb mites and safe to flower plant germination and growth. Therefore, nitric oxide fumigation has potential for postharvest control of bulb mites on flower bulbs and tubers.