ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 76 Number 3
Research Notes
Effects of forage groundnut in reducing the sweetpotato whitefly and associated gemini virus disease in bell pepper in Honduras. (208)
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The groundnut, Arachis pintoi, was grown as a ground cover with bell pepper, Capsicum annum cv. Tropical Irazui to determine its effects on reducing numbers of the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), and associated gemini virus diseases. In 1996, whitefly population levels were relatively low and no differences in the numbers of whiteflies per plant were detected during the initial two observations. Although the number of whiteflies never surpassed 2.7 per plant in 1996, at the final observation, approximately four times as many whiteflies were observed on bell pepper plants grown without ground cover than on plants with cover. Whitefly numbers were higher in 1997 and reached a maximum of 8.10 per plant in plots without A. pintoi. The greatest number of B. tabaci in the 1997 plots with the ground cover was only 0.38 per plant on the final observation date. Disease onset was earlier and frequency was greater in plants without cover. At the final sample date in 1996, 81.5% of the plants grown without cover were diseased while only 52.6% of the plants with ground cover expressed symptoms. This difference was more pronounced at the last sample date in 1997 when 39.0 and 4.5% of the plants expressed symptoms in plots without and with A. pintoi, respectively. On different dates, 50 samples were taken from plots of A. pintoi to determine the presence of whitefly on foliage of the ground cover. Only one whitefly was found on one of the samples taken. Accumulative yields at the conclusion of the 1996 study were 5.11 and 1.35 kg plant-1 for plants with ground cover and without ground cover, respectively. A similar trend was observed in 1997 when yields were 1.64 and 0.82 kg plant-1 in plots with and without A. pintoi, respectively.
Keywords: Arachis pintoi; Ground cover; Bemisia tabaci; Whitefly; Gemini virus; Bell pepper