The Effects of Refrigerated, Controlled-atmosphere Storage during Marine Shipment on Insect Mortality and Cut-flower Vase Life

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  • 1 Crop Science Department, Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407.
  • | 2 Environmental Horticulture Science Department, Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407.
  • | 3 Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, USDA, Fresno, CA 93727.

Refrigerated (2 °C) controlled atmospheres significantly increased the mortality of green peach aphids [Myzus persicae (Sulzer)] and western flower thrips [Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande)] in laboratory experiments. However, insect mortality during marine shipment in mixedload containers at 0.5 °C did not significantly increase in a controlled atmosphere. In laboratory experiments, mortality of green peach aphids ranged from 32.8% in the refrigerated control to 96.8% after storage in 0.10% O2 for 4 d followed by 7 d in 3% O2 with 5% CO2. When stored under these same conditions, western flower thrips mortality was 71% compared to 16% mortality in the refrigerated control. Following an 11-day marine shipment from California to Guam in a controlled atmosphere, vase life was extended for most of the 20 California cut-flower and foliage products compared to those shipped in the refrigerated air control.

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