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J. Farías-Larios, M. Orozco-Santos, and N.R. Ramírez-Vazquez

Bemisia argentifolii is a major pest of melon crop in key production areas of Mexico. Foliar applications of chemical insecticides for their management have been ineffective. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the use of commercial formulations of Beauveria bassiana and different rates for biological control of silverleaf whitefly in cantaloupe melon grown under tropical conditions. Experimental plots were treated with three rates of Mycotrol ES and only an of Naturalis-L or Endosulfan as conventional insecticide. Treatments were arranged in a randomized complete-block design with four replicates. Effects of the treatments on B. argentifolii larval and adult populations and the amount of damage to the foliage and yield melon were recorded. There was not a significant difference between Mycotrol ES rates in nymphs and adults killed. Mycotrol ES, Naturalis and Endosulfan have a similar effect on nymphs and adults control. The nontreated control melon plants had significantly greater number of silverleaf whitefly nymphs and adults than Mycotrol ES, Naturalis-L and Endosulfan treatments. Also, marketable yield was lower for the nontreated control melon plants due to higher whitefly infestations. Results from this study indicate that B. bassiana use resulted in consistently lower whitefly infestations compared to the control. The field results are promising and confirmed the potential of B. bassiana as a microbial control agent against B. argentifolii in melon crop under tropical conditions.

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J. Farias-Larios, M. Orozco, S. Guzman, and A. Gutiirrez

Sweetpotato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci Gennadius) is one of the serious pests on cucurbits and causes injury by sucking sap and by the transmission of virus. In Western Mexico, melon and other vegetable crops have been subjected to losses as a results of whitefly feeding and whitefly-transmitted virus infection. Traditional control is based in the Metamidophos and Endosulfan applications (more than 10 times). Recently, Imidacloprid has been reported as new alternative to whitefly control. Thus, this study was conducted to determine the effect of Imidacloprid under different applications methods on sweetpotato whitefly populations and cantaloupe yield. Ten treatments were evaluated: 1) seed + basal stem, 2) seed + soil at 8 cm, 3) seed + soil (near to seed), 4) seed + soil (seedlings emergence), 5) seed only, 6) basal stem, 7) soil (plant emerged), 8) foliage, 9) Metamidophos and Endosulfan (regional application), and 10) control, without application. These were arranged in a randomized complete-block design with four replications. Each replication had four beds 7.5 m long. Number of whitefly adults was determined weekly on 24 plants selected at random for each treatment (two leaves/plant). At 22, 39, 57, and 73 days after showing, the whitefly nymphs/cm2 were also counted. Imidacloprid applied to foliage five times showed the best whitefly control during the entire crop season, reducing injury and increasing melon yield at 1346.7 cartons/ha, while Metamidophos and Endosulfan showed an intermediate effect (1073.6 cartons/ha).

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J. Farias-Larios, M. Orozco, S. Guzman, and J. Perez

This work was conducted for evaluate the influence of clear and black polyethylene mulches, used alone or combined with floating rowcover (FRC) and plastic perforated microtunnels, on insect populations, growth and yield of muskmelon. Treatments evaluated were 1) clear plastic + FRC, 2) polyethylene perforated microtunnel, 3) clear plastic + polyethylene not perforated microtunnel, 4) black plastic + FRC, 5) clear plastic, 6) black polyethylene, 7) clear plastic + oil, and 8) bare soil. Aphids and sweetpotato whitefly adults and nymphs were completely excluded by floating rowcovers while the plots covered. The export and national quality fruit yield was major in the mulched beds in relation to control. Clear polyethylene mulch + FRC increased number of fruit and export marketable fruit of cantaloupe (45.2% and 44.8%) with respect to black plastic + FRC, respectively. It is proposed that, under tropical conditions and under high insect stress, mulches combined with floating rowcovers should be selected for their effects on insects in addition to their effects on melon yield. Polyethylene microtunnels were found not economical for cantaloupe production in western Mexico.

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G.S. Guzmán, O.C.E. Cuevas, L.J. Farias, and S.M. Orozco

Citrus macrophylla is an important citrus rootstock for Mexican lemon (Citrus aurantifolia S.). Citrus are highly dependent of vesicular–arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi. Four Glomus species were screened for their symbiotic response with C. macrophylla. Seedlings were inoculated with VAM fungi in pots containing sterilized soil. After 3 and 4 months, plants were harvested. Glomus fasciculatum (following by G. intraradices) gave the greatest improvements in growth, resulting in larger plant height and higher shoot dry weight. Glomus aggregatum, G. mosseae, and control plants showed the lowest rates of growth. Plants inoculated with the first three species showed the highest percent of root length colonized. However G. aggregatum gave the highest values of visual density of endophyte in root and soil hyphae. Root colonization and soil hyphae were lowest in plants with G. mosseae.