This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Visual Miscuing of Thrips to Reduce the Incidence of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus in Tomatoes




Croxton, Scott

Type of Degree





Greenhouse studies were conducted evaluating selected tempera paints to determine effects on yield and plant growth of tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum). Tempera paints (ColArt Americas Inc, Piscataway, NJ) evaluated were: brilliant red, cerise, crimson, jazz orange, and purple which were applied weekly up to first harvest. Treatments were first applied three days after transplanting. Weekly plant heights were gathered three days before each treatment application. Tempera paints had minimal significant effects on yield and plant height. Experiments were conducted to evaluate tempera paints applied directly to field grown tomatoes. Paints were applied weekly starting three days after transplanting. Paints selected for the field trials were the same as earlier greenhouse trials with brilliant red, cerise, crimson, jazz orange, and purple. Weekly thrips populations were gathered along with tomato yields. ELISA tests were run early-season and mid-season to test for TSWV. The paints did not reduce the occurrence of TSWV but neither did they negatively influence yield. Since the paints did not reduce yields a more ultra-violet reflective color may still prove to be a viable option. Field studies were conducted to evaluate the influence of colored mulch plastic on thrips ability to locate tomatoes. Mulch colors were selected based on ultra violet reflectance which has been shown to repel thrips. Specially manufactured colored mulches (Pliant Corp, Washington, GA) were: silver, white, red 1, red 2, red 3, and violet. Yields were taken weekly as well as thrips population counts. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests were completed early-season and mid-season to test for Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV). Red 1 and red 2 mulches showed significant reduction in thrips populations and TSWV incidence compared to white in some cases. However, the silver mulch consistently reduced thrips populations compared to the other mulches, as well as reducing tomato fruit yield losses.