Kaolin-based Particle Film Has No Effect on Physiological Measurements, Disease Incidence or Yield in Peppers

in HortScience

Heat stress can limit yield in pepper (Capsicum spp.), generally through flower and fruit abortion. A kaolin-based particle film, originally developed to protect fruit trees from insects, has been found to reduce temperatures in tissues of plants. A kaolin-based particle film was tested to determine if it could be used to improve yields of pepper in Oklahoma and Georgia. In Oklahoma, seedlings of a bell pepper, `Jupiter', and a nonpungent jalapeño, `Pace 103', were transplanted at three progressively warmer planting dates from mid-May to mid-July 2002 and 2003, that would ensure that inflorescences would be subject to high day and night temperatures and treated with the kaolin-based particle film. Applications were begun as the first flowers were set and continued through the settings of the first three flushes of flowers on a three-times a week schedule, or on an as needed basis, to determine if the kaolin-based particle film improved yield. In Georgia, the bell peppers `Camelot' and `Heritage VR' were transplanted on 24 Apr. 2003, and treated with the kaolin-based particle film. In addition to yield, physiological measurements and disease incidences were recorded in Georgia. In both locations treatment with water only served as controls. In Georgia, the kaolin-based particle film had no significant effect on net photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, leaf transpiration or leaf temperature, as measured at midday on clear days. In Oklahoma, planting bell pepper after 15 May is not recommended. Planting the nonpungent jalapeño after mid-June can reduce yields. The kaolin-based particle film did not affect yield at either location and is not recommended for use on peppers.

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Contributor Notes

Corresponding author; e-mail vrusso-usda@lane-ag.org.
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