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Nighttime Application of UV-C to Control Cucumber Powdery Mildew

J. S. Patel, L. C. Radetsky, R. Nagare, and M. S. Rea

January 2020

Research

Nonionizing, ultraviolet (UV) radiation is effective for mitigating powdery mildew associated with a variety of crops including strawberry, grapes, rosemary, tomato, rose, and cucumber. The effectiveness of UV radiation depends upon the dose (irradiance × duration), the frequency of dosing, the time of application, and the sensitivity of the crop to UV radiation. Reported here are the results of two laboratory studies examining the impact of UV-C (254 nm) on cucumber and its obligate powdery-mildew-causing pathogen Podosphaera xanthii. In the first study, doses of UV-C (72 and 144 J m–2) applied every night were more effective at reducing disease severity than dosing every day. However, leaf area was reduced more following nighttime applications than daytime applications, suggesting that both day and night applications of UV-C could compromise yield without necessarily eliminating the disease. The second study showed that a dose of UV-C (7.2 J m–2) applied every night or a higher dose (70 J m–2) applied every fourth night were both effective for eliminating powdery mildew without significantly reducing leaf area. These findings, if confirmed in the field, could provide cucumber growers with additional options for controlling powdery mildew without compromising yield.

doi:10.1094/PHP-11-19-0081-RS

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