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  • Author or Editor: W. Louis Tedders x
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Aphids cause major annual economic losses to the U.S. pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] industry and are becoming harder to control with standard pesticides. An evaluation of efforts by certain growers to suppress aphid populations using air-blast sprays of 0.05% Silwet L-77, a non-ionic super-wetting organosilicone surfactant, indicated that: 1) reductions in blackmargined aphid [Monellia caryella (Fitch)] levels were mostly attributable to the air-blast spray effect rather than to the Silwet L-77 component; 2) a 0.05% solution of Silwet L-77 reduced net photosynthesis (A) of foliage by 5% for at least 14 days post-treatment; and 3) the efficacy of 0.05% Silwet L-77 sprays is not substantially increased by doubling the volume of spray per tree (1868 L·ha-1). However, higher Silwet L-77 concentrations were highly effective in killing aphids, although there was little or no residual activity. A response curve indicated that air-blast sprays of orchard trees with 0.30% (v/v) Silwet L-77 (at 934 L·ha-1) are capable of reducing yellow pecan aphid (Monelliopsis pecanis Bissell) populations by at least 84% while only reducing A by ≤10%. Chemical names used: silicone-polyether copolymer (Silwet L-77).

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Two years of observations on water availability, black aphids and leaf scorch provides evidence of substantial interaction among these factors. Foliage of irrigated trees of `Desirable', `Cheyenne', and `Wichita' cvs. exhibited much less leaf scorch, black aphid damage, free nitrogenous substances, and sugars than did nonirrigated trees.

Water stress appears to predispose foliage in such a way so as to greatly increase the ability of black aphids, and certain fungal pathogens to grow and/or reproduce on/in the affected foliage.

This appears to be associated with the organisms ability to induce biochemical changes that increase levels of free nitrogenous substances and sugars. The level and degree of chlorosis and area of foliar damage by black pecan aphids was much greater on nonirrigated trees.

Two years of observations on the relative resistance of about 50 cultivars resulted in genotype related differences in susceptibility to leaf scorch.

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The influence of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] leaflet bronzing, a discoloration of the lower surface, on foliar physiology and nut-meat yield is unknown. Field investigations indicate that bronzing can adversely affect foliage by reducing net photoassimilation (A), stomatal conductance (sgw ), and transpiration (E) while also altering stomatal aperture and cellular structure, and increasing temperature. Kernel weight and fill percentage are also reduced. Research indicated that foliar A declined in proportion to degree of bronze coloration, with negative A exhibited by heavily bronzed foliage. A by bronzed foliage did not increase as light levels exceeded ≈250 μmol·m-2·s-1. Within the same compound leaf, nonbronzed leaflets adjacent to bronzed leaflets exhibited greater than normal A. Bronzed leaflets also exhibited lower sgw to water vapor, less transpirational H2O loss, and higher afternoon leaf temperature. Light micrographs of bronzed foliage indicated abnormal epidermal and spongy mesophyll cells. Weight and percentage of kernel comprising the nut declined on shoots supporting foliage bronzing in July to August, but was unaffected when bronzing occurred in September to October. Bronzing of pecan foliage can therefore be of both physiological and economic significance.

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