The Mechanisms of Plant Stress Mitigation by Kaolin-based Particle Films and Applications in Horticultural and Agricultural Crops

in HortScience

Kaolin-based particle films have use in reducing insect, heat, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and ultraviolet radiation stress in plants resulting from the reflective nature of the particles. Particle films with a residue density of 1 to 4 g·m−2 have been evaluated in a range of crops and agricultural environments. The particle film is a general insect repellant resulting from the change in the plant’s leaf/fruit texture but also because it changes the reflected light signature of the plant causing insect avoidance for many pests. The alteration of reflected light is the result of the ability of the particle film to reflect infrared (IR), PAR, and ultraviolet radiation. Reflection of IR can reduce canopy temperature as much as 5 °C, which will reduce potential transpiration. The reduction of PAR by the film at the leaf level is compensated in varying degrees by diffusion of PAR into the interior of the canopy. Whole canopy photosynthesis can be increased by the combined particle film effects of reduced canopy temperature and increased diffusion of PAR into the interior of the canopy. In apple, reducing fruit surface temperature, PAR, and ultraviolet is an effective means of reducing sunburn damage. The use of a reflective particle film is effective in mitigating environmental stress and has significant economic benefits in agricultural crops.

Abstract

Kaolin-based particle films have use in reducing insect, heat, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and ultraviolet radiation stress in plants resulting from the reflective nature of the particles. Particle films with a residue density of 1 to 4 g·m−2 have been evaluated in a range of crops and agricultural environments. The particle film is a general insect repellant resulting from the change in the plant’s leaf/fruit texture but also because it changes the reflected light signature of the plant causing insect avoidance for many pests. The alteration of reflected light is the result of the ability of the particle film to reflect infrared (IR), PAR, and ultraviolet radiation. Reflection of IR can reduce canopy temperature as much as 5 °C, which will reduce potential transpiration. The reduction of PAR by the film at the leaf level is compensated in varying degrees by diffusion of PAR into the interior of the canopy. Whole canopy photosynthesis can be increased by the combined particle film effects of reduced canopy temperature and increased diffusion of PAR into the interior of the canopy. In apple, reducing fruit surface temperature, PAR, and ultraviolet is an effective means of reducing sunburn damage. The use of a reflective particle film is effective in mitigating environmental stress and has significant economic benefits in agricultural crops.

Kaolin-based particle films can reduce insect, heat, PAR, and ultraviolet stress in horticultural crops because of their ability to modify the microenvironment of the plant canopy as a result of the reflective nature of the particles. Particle films with a residue density of 1 to 4 g·m−2 leaf area have been evaluated in a range of crops and agricultural environments. The particle film is a general insect repellant resulting from the change in the plant’s leaf/fruit texture but also because it changes the reflected light signature of the plant causing insect avoidance for many pests. A general review of particle film effects on insect pests and insect predators is presented in Glenn and Puterka (2005). Other key papers include: D’Aquino et al. (2011), Joubert et al. (2004), Lapointe et al. (2006), Leskey et al. (2010), Pascual et al. (2010), and Sackett et al. (2007).

The alteration of reflected light is the result of the ability of the particle film to reflect IR, PAR, and ultraviolet radiation (Glenn et al., 2002, 2008; Steiman et al., 2007). Reflection of IR can reduce canopy temperature as much as 5 °C, which will reduce potential transpiration (Glenn, 2009; Glenn et al., 2003; Jifon and Syvertsen, 2003); however, reducing canopy temperature can reduce heat stress and increase water use resulting in reduced water use efficiency and increased productivity (Glenn, 2010).

The reduction of PAR by the film at the leaf level is compensated in varying degrees by diffusion of PAR into the interior of the canopy (Glenn and Puterka, 2007; Rosati et al., 2007; Wünsche et al., 2004). Whole canopy photosynthesis can be increased by the combination of reduced canopy temperature and increased interior canopy light (Glenn, 2009, 2010; Glenn et al., 2003).

In apple, reducing fruit surface temperature, PAR, and ultraviolet is an effective means of reducing sunburn damage in apple (Aly et al., 2010; Glenn et al., 2002, 2008; LeGrange et al., 2004; Wand et al., 2006) and other specialty crops including pomegranate (Melgarejo et al., 2004; Weerakkody et al., 2010) and tomato (Pace et al., 2007; Saavedra et al., 2006).

The particle film can improve apple fruit color in some regions (Aly et al., 2010; Garcia et al., 2003; Glenn, 2009; Glenn and Puterka, 2007; Glenn et al., 2001, 2005; Wand et al., 2006). However, there are instances of reduced apple color development (Gindaba and Wand, 2005; Schupp et al., 2002).

The use of a reflective particle film is effective in mitigating environmental stress and has significant economic benefits in agricultural crops. Glenn (2009) demonstrated in a 10-year study that fruit mass of kaolin-treated apples was greater than the untreated fruit in 9 of 10 years and that the magnitude of the treatment response increased with increasing growing season temperature (Fig. 1). These data suggest that growing season temperatures above 20 °C can potentially reduce fruit size, but the use of the reflective particle film can mitigate that effect. Management tools, including kaolin-based particle films, will be needed to mitigate increasing growing season temperatures associated with global climate change.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Relationship of the increase in fruit weight with 3% season-long Surround treatments (expressed as a percentage of the untreated control) to growing season temperature (1998–2007).

Citation: HortScience horts 47, 6; 10.21273/HORTSCI.47.6.710

Literature Cited

  • AlyM.El-MegeedN.A.AwadR.M.2010Reflective particle films affect on sunburn, yield, mineral composition and fruit maturity of ‘Anna’ apple (Malus domestica) treesRes. J. Agr. Biol. Sci.68492

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • D’AquinoS.D.CoccoA.OrtuS.SchirraM.2011Effects of kaolin-based particle film to control Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) infestations and postharvest decay in citrus and stone fruitCrop Prot.3010791086

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Del SaavedraR.G.EscaffM.G.HernandezJ.V.2006Kaolin effects in processing tomato production in ChileActa Hort.724191198

  • GarciaM.E.BerkettL.P.BradshawT.2003Does Surround have non-target impacts on New England orchards? In: Bramlage W. (ed.). Proc. New England Fruit Meetings 2002–2003. 108–109:35–39

  • GindabaJ.WandS.J.E.2005Comparative effects of evaporative cooling, kaolin particle film and shade net on sunburn and fruit quality in applesHortScience40592596

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.2009Particle film mechanisms of action that reduce the effect of environmental stress in ‘Empire’ appleJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.134314321

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.2010Canopy gas exchange and water use efficiency of ‘Empire’ apple in response to particle film, irrigation, and microclimatic factorsJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.1352532

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.DrakeS.AbbottJ.A.PuterkaG.J.GundrumP.2005Season and cultivar influence the fruit quality response of apple cultivars to particle film treatmentsHortTechnology15249253

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.ErezE.PuterkaG.J.GundrumP.2003Particle films affect carbon assimilation and yield in ‘Empire’ appleJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.128356362

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.PradoE.ErezA.McFersonJ.PuterkaG.J.2002A reflective processed-kaolin particle film affects fruit temperature, radiation reflection and solar injury in appleJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.127188193

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.PuterkaG.J.2005Particle films: A new technology for agricultureHort. Rev.31144

  • GlennD.M.PuterkaG.J.2007The use of plastic films and sprayable reflective particle films to increase light penetration in apple canopies and improve apple color and weightHortScience429196

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.PuterkaG.J.DrakeS.R.UnruhT.R.KnightA.L.BaherleP.PradoE.BaugherT.A.2001Particle film application influences apple leaf physiology, fruit yield, and fruit qualityJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.126175181

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.WünscheJ.McIvorI.NissenR.GeorgeA.2008Ultraviolet radiation effects on fruit surface respiration and chlorophyll fluorescenceJ. Hortic. Sci. Biotechnol.834350

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • JifonJ.L.SyvertsenJ.P.2003Kaolin particle film applications can increase photosynthesis and water use efficiency of ‘Ruby Red’ grapefruit leavesJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.128107112

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • JoubertP.H.GrovéT.De BeerM.S.SteynW.P.2004Evaluation of kaolin (SURROUND® WP) in an IPM program on mangoes in South AfricaActa Hort.645493499

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LapointeS.L.MckenzieC.L.HallD.G.2006Reduced oviposition by Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and growth enhancement of citrus by Surround particle filmJ. Econ. Entomol.99109116

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Le GrangeM.WandS.J.E.TheronK.I.2004Effect of kaolin applications on apple fruit quality and gas exchange of apple leavesActa Hort.636545550

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LeskeyT.C.WrightS.E.GlennD.M.PuterkaG.J.2010Effect of Surround WP on behavior and mortality of apple maggot (Diptera: Tephritidae)J. Econ. Entomol.103394401

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MelgarejoP.MartinezJ.J.HernandezF.Martinez-FontR.BarrowsP.ErezA.2004Kaolin treatment to reduce pomegranate sunburnSci. Hort.100349353

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PaceB.BoariF.CantoreV.LeoL.VanadiaS.De PalmaE.PhillipsN.2007Effect of particle film technology on temperature, yield and quality of processing tomatoActa Hort.758287293

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PascualS.CobosG.SerisE.2010Effects of processed kaolin on pests and non-target arthropods in a Spanish olive groveJ. Pest Sci.83121133

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RosatiA.MetcalfS.G.BuchnerR.P.FultonA.E.LampinenB.D.2007Effects of kaolin application on light absorption and distribution, radiation use efficiency and photosynthesis of almond and walnut canopiesAnn. Bot. (Lond.)99255263

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SackettT.E.BuddleC.M.VincentC.2007Effects of kaolin on the composition of generalist predator assemblages and parasitism of Choristoneura rosaceana (Lep., Tortricidae) in apple orchardsJ. Appl. Entomol.131478485

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SchuppJ.R.FallahiE.ChunI.J.2002Effect of particle film on fruit sunburn, maturity and quality of ‘Fuji’ and ‘Honeycrisp’ applesHortTechnology128790

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SteimanS.R.BittenbenderH.C.IdolT.W.2007Analysis of kaolin particle film use and its application on coffeeHortScience4216051608

  • WandS.J.E.TheronK.I.AckermanJ.MaraisS.J.S.2006Harvest and post-harvest apple fruit quality following applications of kaolin particle film in South African orchardsSci. Hort.107271276

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WeerakkodyP.JoblingJ.MagdalenaM.InfanteV.RogersG.2010The effect of maturity, sunburn and the application of sunscreens on the internal and external qualities of pomegranate fruit grown in AustraliaSci. Hort.1245761

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WünscheJ.N.LombardiniL.GreerD.H.2004‘Surround’ particle film applications—Effects on whole canopyActa Hort.636565571

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Contributor Notes

This paper was part of the colloquium, “Emerging Techniques to Evaluate and Mitigate Crop Environmental Stress in a Changing Climate” held 28 Sept. 2011 at the ASHS Conference, Waikoloa, HI, and sponsored by the Environmental Stress Physiology (STRS) Working Group.

To whom reprint requests should be addressed; e-mail michael.glenn@ars.usda.gov.

Article Figures

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    Relationship of the increase in fruit weight with 3% season-long Surround treatments (expressed as a percentage of the untreated control) to growing season temperature (1998–2007).

Article References

  • AlyM.El-MegeedN.A.AwadR.M.2010Reflective particle films affect on sunburn, yield, mineral composition and fruit maturity of ‘Anna’ apple (Malus domestica) treesRes. J. Agr. Biol. Sci.68492

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • D’AquinoS.D.CoccoA.OrtuS.SchirraM.2011Effects of kaolin-based particle film to control Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) infestations and postharvest decay in citrus and stone fruitCrop Prot.3010791086

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Del SaavedraR.G.EscaffM.G.HernandezJ.V.2006Kaolin effects in processing tomato production in ChileActa Hort.724191198

  • GarciaM.E.BerkettL.P.BradshawT.2003Does Surround have non-target impacts on New England orchards? In: Bramlage W. (ed.). Proc. New England Fruit Meetings 2002–2003. 108–109:35–39

  • GindabaJ.WandS.J.E.2005Comparative effects of evaporative cooling, kaolin particle film and shade net on sunburn and fruit quality in applesHortScience40592596

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.2009Particle film mechanisms of action that reduce the effect of environmental stress in ‘Empire’ appleJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.134314321

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.2010Canopy gas exchange and water use efficiency of ‘Empire’ apple in response to particle film, irrigation, and microclimatic factorsJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.1352532

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.DrakeS.AbbottJ.A.PuterkaG.J.GundrumP.2005Season and cultivar influence the fruit quality response of apple cultivars to particle film treatmentsHortTechnology15249253

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.ErezE.PuterkaG.J.GundrumP.2003Particle films affect carbon assimilation and yield in ‘Empire’ appleJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.128356362

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.PradoE.ErezA.McFersonJ.PuterkaG.J.2002A reflective processed-kaolin particle film affects fruit temperature, radiation reflection and solar injury in appleJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.127188193

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.PuterkaG.J.2005Particle films: A new technology for agricultureHort. Rev.31144

  • GlennD.M.PuterkaG.J.2007The use of plastic films and sprayable reflective particle films to increase light penetration in apple canopies and improve apple color and weightHortScience429196

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.PuterkaG.J.DrakeS.R.UnruhT.R.KnightA.L.BaherleP.PradoE.BaugherT.A.2001Particle film application influences apple leaf physiology, fruit yield, and fruit qualityJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.126175181

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GlennD.M.WünscheJ.McIvorI.NissenR.GeorgeA.2008Ultraviolet radiation effects on fruit surface respiration and chlorophyll fluorescenceJ. Hortic. Sci. Biotechnol.834350

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • JifonJ.L.SyvertsenJ.P.2003Kaolin particle film applications can increase photosynthesis and water use efficiency of ‘Ruby Red’ grapefruit leavesJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.128107112

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • JoubertP.H.GrovéT.De BeerM.S.SteynW.P.2004Evaluation of kaolin (SURROUND® WP) in an IPM program on mangoes in South AfricaActa Hort.645493499

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LapointeS.L.MckenzieC.L.HallD.G.2006Reduced oviposition by Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and growth enhancement of citrus by Surround particle filmJ. Econ. Entomol.99109116

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Le GrangeM.WandS.J.E.TheronK.I.2004Effect of kaolin applications on apple fruit quality and gas exchange of apple leavesActa Hort.636545550

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LeskeyT.C.WrightS.E.GlennD.M.PuterkaG.J.2010Effect of Surround WP on behavior and mortality of apple maggot (Diptera: Tephritidae)J. Econ. Entomol.103394401

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MelgarejoP.MartinezJ.J.HernandezF.Martinez-FontR.BarrowsP.ErezA.2004Kaolin treatment to reduce pomegranate sunburnSci. Hort.100349353

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PaceB.BoariF.CantoreV.LeoL.VanadiaS.De PalmaE.PhillipsN.2007Effect of particle film technology on temperature, yield and quality of processing tomatoActa Hort.758287293

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PascualS.CobosG.SerisE.2010Effects of processed kaolin on pests and non-target arthropods in a Spanish olive groveJ. Pest Sci.83121133

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RosatiA.MetcalfS.G.BuchnerR.P.FultonA.E.LampinenB.D.2007Effects of kaolin application on light absorption and distribution, radiation use efficiency and photosynthesis of almond and walnut canopiesAnn. Bot. (Lond.)99255263

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SackettT.E.BuddleC.M.VincentC.2007Effects of kaolin on the composition of generalist predator assemblages and parasitism of Choristoneura rosaceana (Lep., Tortricidae) in apple orchardsJ. Appl. Entomol.131478485

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SchuppJ.R.FallahiE.ChunI.J.2002Effect of particle film on fruit sunburn, maturity and quality of ‘Fuji’ and ‘Honeycrisp’ applesHortTechnology128790

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SteimanS.R.BittenbenderH.C.IdolT.W.2007Analysis of kaolin particle film use and its application on coffeeHortScience4216051608

  • WandS.J.E.TheronK.I.AckermanJ.MaraisS.J.S.2006Harvest and post-harvest apple fruit quality following applications of kaolin particle film in South African orchardsSci. Hort.107271276

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WeerakkodyP.JoblingJ.MagdalenaM.InfanteV.RogersG.2010The effect of maturity, sunburn and the application of sunscreens on the internal and external qualities of pomegranate fruit grown in AustraliaSci. Hort.1245761

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WünscheJ.N.LombardiniL.GreerD.H.2004‘Surround’ particle film applications—Effects on whole canopyActa Hort.636565571

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