Kaolin-based Foliar Reflectant Affects Physiology and Incidence of Beet Curly Top Virus but not Yield of Chile Pepper

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003

Kaolin reflectant treatments have been shown to reduce stress due to the environment, pests, and pathogens in many plants. We tested the effect of kaolin on yield, beet curly top virus (BCTV) incidence, and physiological parameters (measured as hyperspectral reflectance) of field-grown chile pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) in southern New Mexico. Curly top incidence was significantly lower in kaolin-treated chile blocks than untreated blocks. Peppers treated with the kaolin-reflectant showed significantly less water stress and higher photochemical reflectance than untreated plants during active growth periods. Treated plants had significantly higher levels of chlorophyll a and higher reflectance than untreated plants. Yield from treated plants was not significantly different from that from untreated plants. We did not detect any deleterious effects on peppers due to application of kaolin. Kaolin treatments suppressed beet curly top virus on chile and reduced water stress parameters during the hottest months of the growing season, suggesting that it would be useful in New Mexico chile production in years with moderate disease pressure.

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