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Integrated cultural practices for whitefly management in organic tomato

Togni, Pedro Henrique Brum, Marouelli, Waldir Aparecido, Inoue‐Nagata, Alice Kazuko, Pires, Carmen Silvia Soares, Sujii, Edison Ryoiti
Journal of applied entomology 2018 v.142 no.10 pp. 998-1007
Begomovirus, Bemisia tabaci, Coriandrum sativum, adults, crops, dry season, fauna, feeding behavior, field experimentation, host plants, insects, intercropping, microirrigation, organic foods, pests, plant diseases and disorders, plant viruses, sprinkler irrigation, sprinklers, tomatoes, viruses
The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a serious pest among the diverse insect fauna of the tomato crop, especially when cultivated in organic systems. The feeding behaviour of B. tabaci is responsible for direct damage to tomato plants and for the transmission of several viruses, such as begomoviruses. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of integrating the cultural practices of intercropping and irrigation systems on B. tabaci abundance and the incidence of begomovirus in organic tomato systems. Field experiments were performed in the dry season for 2 years when B. tabaci abundance and begomovirus incidence were compared in tomato crops planted either in monoculture or intercropped with coriander and irrigated by overhead sprinklers or by a drip irrigation system. Tomato plants intercropped with coriander and irrigated by overhead sprinklers showed the lowest levels of B. tabaci colonization by adult and nymph densities. Most likely, the coriander plants produced visual and olfactory barriers for insect host plant selection, and the overhead sprinkler irrigation physically interfered with the movement and establishment of the insects. The combined effect of intercropping and sprinkler irrigation made tomato plants less suitable for B. tabaci establishment. Moreover, tomatoes intercropped with coriander and irrigated by sprinkler irrigation also reduced the incidence of begomovirus‐infected plants. In summary, integrating tomato–coriander intercropping and sprinkler irrigation can help manage B. tabaci and associated viruses in organic tomato crops.