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Physiological characteristics of citrus plants infested with citrus blackfly

Gomes, Alirya Magda Santos do Vale, Reis, Fabrício de Oliveira, Lemos, Raimunda Nonata Santos de, Mondego, Janaína Marques, Braun, Heder, Araujo, José Ribamar Gusmão
Revista Brasileira de entomologia 2019 v.63 no.2 pp. 119-123
Aleurocanthus woglumi, Citrus latifolia, carbon dioxide, gas exchange, nutrients, orchards, pests, photochemistry, photoinhibition, sooty molds, stomatal conductance, tangerines, Brazil
Aleurocanthus woglumi (Ashby, 1915) is an important agricultural pest that causes yield losses of 20–80% in citrus plants by removing plant nutrients while feeding and allowing the formation of sooty mold. The objective of this study was to evaluate physiological changes in citrus plants in response to A. woglumi infestation under field conditions. The experiment was conducted in a citrus orchard in Paço do Lumiar, Maranhão, Brazil. Thirty-two citrus plants were used, including eight of each of the following varieties: Tahiti lime, Tanjaroa tangerine, Nissey tangerine, and Ponkan tangerine. Four random plants with A. woglumi infestation and four plants free from this pest were selected from each variety. The physiological parameters evaluated were photochemical efficiency and gas exchange. Regarding photochemical efficiency, infested plants presented photoinhibition damage, with a performance index of 4.22. The gas exchange parameters of infested plants changed, with reductions in photosynthetic CO2 assimilation of 69.7% (Tahiti), 64% (Tanjaroa), 68.8% (Nissey) and 63.3% (Ponkan). Plants infested with A. woglumi also presented physiological changes; their photosynthetic CO2 assimilation, stomatal conductance, instantaneous transpiration, and performance indexes were affected. The infested citrus plants showed photoinhibition of photosystem II. The photosynthetic CO2 assimilation decreased approximately 70% in Tahiti lime, Tanjaroa tangerine, Nissey tangerine, and Ponkan tangerine plants infested with A. woglumi.