Latest Reports and Publications

June, 2014

Journal of Pest Science, 2014, 87 (2): 249-258.
The article is available here at a cost

Abstract: Alexandra Grygorczyk, Jessica Turecek and Isabelle Lesschaeve. The current study aimed to determine how the pest management practice applied during crop production may impact consumer purchase intentions of an edible (tomato) and a non-edible (chrysanthemum) greenhouse crop. The study examined five pest management practices and applied conjoint analysis to evaluate the relative importance of the pest management practice compared to several other product factors (price, benefit claims related to the pest management practice, tomato variety/flower colour, quality) in contributing to consumers’ purchase intentions. Out of the factors examined, price (26–29 % relative importance) and the pest management practice (22–25 % relative importance) were the most important to consumers. In both studies, there were segments of the sampled populations (13.5–24 %) for whom the pest management practice was the most important factor driving purchase decisions. These segments had significantly more consumers with low confidence in science and technology and preferred products grown using organic practices or pests’ natural predators. In the tomatoes study (crop intended for consumption), the proportion of pest management conscious consumers nearly doubled compared to the chrysanthemums study. Findings suggest that making consumers aware that a product has been produced using pests’ natural predators (i.e. using biocontrol strategies) for pest management could convince a significant segment of the population to purchase these products over other similar products. When the crop is edible, a higher proportion of consumers becomes concerned with the production practice.

March, 2014

Journal of Environmental Horticulture, 2014, 32 (2): 103-113.
The article is available here to individuals with subscription.

Abstract: Bernard Goyette, Marlène Piché, Michael Brownbridge and Darby McGrath. There is a need to develop methods that would allow plant health and survival potential to be quantified in real time, particularly in the different phases of bare-root handling. Such methods would allow the impact of different stresses experienced throughout storage and transport on establishment success and growth of the bare-root plant to be quantitatively defined. This review concentrates on the impact of pre-lifting, pre-transplanting and post-transplanting considerations and identifies tools that can be applied for monitoring plant quality. Root and shoot culturing, lifting and transplanting timing, water stress and storage/transport handling are all significant factors in the post-transplant performance of bare-root material. Different postharvest tools and indicators are also examined for their efficacy and contribution to plant quality. Chlorophyll fluorescence and root respiration are useful as indicators of water stress and dormancy; however, more practical equipment should be developed in both instances for greater adoption of these practices. Hydrophilic gel slurries can be used either during storage and immediately prior to transplant as an additional prevention of desiccation but will not restore vigor to damaged plants. Cold storage at optimum temperature should be adapted to maintain the target relative humidity; otherwise the storage period should not exceed 4 weeks for unprotected bare-root plants. Many improvements have been made in the ability to predict the effects of stresses experienced by bare-root material. However, more equipment, metrics, species and site specific research would enhance monitoring of bare-root quality.

Growing Forward 2 annual report 2013-2014
March, 2014


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February, 2014

BioControl, 2014, 59 (1): 79-87.
The article is available here at a cost

Abstract: M.O. Waite, C.D. Scott-Dupree, M. Brownbridge, R. Buitenhuis and G. Murphy. Marigold (cv. Lemon Gem), castor bean, ornamental pepper (cv. Black Pearl and Purple Flash), gerbera daisy (cv. Festival), feverfew, and sunflower (cv. Choco Sun) were evaluated for their suitability as banker plants (BP) for Orius insidiosus (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) in commercial greenhouses. Oviposition, egg hatch, nymphal development to adulthood, and population increase were quantified in laboratory trials. Assessments of oviposition and egg hatch indicated that all plants tested were equally accepted by O. insidiosus. Nymphal development to adulthood and survival tests indicated that gerbera may be a suitable BP as survival was the highest (58.1 %), whereas marigold would not be an acceptable BP as only 10.7 % of nymphs survived to adulthood. Nymphal development time differed by only one day among all plants. In greenhouse cage experiments, Purple Flash pepper supported the greatest population growth over a ten week period. Based on the combined results from all tests, Purple Flash pepper appears to have the greatest potential as a BP species for O. insidiosus.

February, 2014

Experimental and Applied Acarology, 2014, 62 (2): 171-180.
The article is available here at a cost

Abstract: Rosemarije Buitenhuis, Les Shipp, Cynthia Scott-Dupree, Angela Brommit and Wonhyo Lee. Biological control in ornamental crops is challenging due to the wide diversity of crops and cultivars. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that trichome density on different host plants influences the behavior and performance of the predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Behavioural observations of this predator in the presence or absence of prey (western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) were done on leaf squares of ornamental plant species differing in trichome density (rose, chrysanthemum and gerbera) and compared to a smooth surface (plastic). Tomato leaves were used to observe the influence of glandular trichomes. The performance of A. swirskii was assessed by measuring predation and oviposition rate. Behaviour of A. swirskii was influenced by plant species. Up to a certain density of trichomes, trichome number had a negative effect on walking speed. It was highest on plastic, followed by rose. No differences were found among chrysanthemum, gerbera and tomato. Walking speed was slightly higher on disks without prey. Proportion of time spent walking was the same on leaf disks of all plant species, with and without prey. No effect of glandular trichomes on tomato leaves was seen. Most thrips were killed and consumed on gerbera, and least on rose. Predation rates on chrysanthemum and plastic were intermediate. In contrast, no differences in oviposition rate were found among plant species. The results of this study indicate that trichome density can explain some of the variability in efficacy of A. swirskii on different crops. Release rates of A. swirskii may need to be adjusted depending on the crop in which it is used.