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J.L. Garcia-Hernandez, E. Troyo-Dieguez, H. Nolasco, H.G. Jones, and A. Ortega-Rubio

The phytotoxic effects on the physiology of chili (Capsicum annum L. cv. Ancho San Luis) caused by four different insecticides were evaluated. Three commercial mixes (methyl azinfos, methyl parathion CE720, and metamidophos 600 LM), and an active ingredient alone (methamidophos) were assayed; water was used as the control. The main goal was to evaluate the insecticide effects on chili using four different doses; the mean dose, recommended on the label of the product (R), a half one (1/2R), 1.5 times (1.5R) and twice the recommended dose (2R). Three frequencies of application were applied; once a week, twice a week, and once every other week, for 6 weeks from the beginning of flowering. Phytotoxicity was evaluated measuring the response of some physiological traits, Chlorophyll Fluorescence (CF), Leaf Temperature (LT), Transpiration (Tr), and Stomatal Resistance (SR). CF was measured by means of a portable chorophyll fluorscence meter; LT, Tr, and SR were measured using a LI-Cor Porometer. The doses and frequencies used are all common in commercial chili fields in Mexico. Results showed that phytotoxicity caused by insecticides can be an important damage factor to the plants, something that can cause reduction of yields. CF was shown to be the most sensitive variable to evaluate the phytotoxicity caused by insecticides. Fruit malformation was observed in all treatments. Chlorophyll content was reduced up to 25%, on average. The phosphorate insecticides affected the physiological parameters more drastically than the others. Results evidence the irreversible crop damage caused by excessive insecticide applications.

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José Egea, Manuel Rubio, José A. Campoy, Federico Dicenta, Encarna Ortega, María D. Nortes, Pedro Martínez-Gómez, Antonio Molina, Antonio Molina Jr, and David Ruiz