|Harrison Jr, Howard|
Submitted to: Pepper National Conference Abstracts
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/23/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Bell peppers for the fresh market in the southeastern United States are typically grown in beds mulched with black polyethylene and fumigated with methyl bromide to control yellow nutsedge, root knot nematodes and other soil pests. There is concern that with the ban of methyl bromide for soil fumigation scheduled for 2001, yellow nutsedge will become unmanageable in peppers. Bentazon effectively controls yellow nutsedge; however, it has never been registered for general use in peppers. Greenhouse and field studies were conducted to assess the relative tolerance of pepper varieties to the herbicide bentazon. Two chili pepper varieties (Bohemian Chili, and Santaka) with very high levels of bentazon tolerance were identified in preliminary studies. Bentazon tolerance is conditioned by a single dominant gene in both varieties. In an evaluation of modern bell pepper cultivars, nine commercially important bell pepper varieties varied considerably in bentazon tolerance. One of the most tolerant varieties, King Arthur was not severely injured, and its shoot weight was not reduced by 2.0 kg ha-1 bentazon. In a field study, F1 'King Arthur', the tolerant control 'Santaka' and the F2 progeny of 'King Arthur' were similar in bentazon tolerance, and there was no genetic segregation for tolerance in the F2 population. Some modern bell pepper varieties appear to be sufficiently tolerant to allow bentazon use. The results of these studies indicate that developing new pepper cultivars with sufficient levels of tolerance to allow safe use of the herbicide should be straightforward.