Efficacy of plant-soil exposure to electric current against Agrotis ipsilon, Bemisia tabaci and Meloidogyne sp

Abstract

A series of experiments were conducted during the years 2014 and 2016 to evaluate the effect of exposing plant soil to electric current for different periods 2 and 5 min on the black cutworm larvae on tomato, 4 and 8 min on whitefly nymphs on cucumbers and for 5, 10 and 15 min against the second stage juvenile J2 of root-knot nematodes Meloidogyne spp. on olive trees. Normal electric current 220V was used directly after irrigation with or without nitrogen fertilization in the case of tomato and cucumber. The results showed that the electric current regardless of the exposure period was highly effective and led to a significant (P≤0.05 ) increase in mortality of black cutworm larvae of tomato and white-fly nymphs. The highest numbers of dead larvae were in the fertilization treatment and exposure period of 5 min. No live larvae were recorded in this treatment, which did not differ from the 2 min exposure, but did significantly differ from the control (not exposed to electric current). As for whitefly on cucumber, the highest mean of dead nymphs (48,00 nymphs/leaf) and the lowest number of live ones (13,66) were in the fertilization treatment and 8min exposure to electric current, which differed significantly (P≤0.05 ) from all the other treatments. The same treatment resulted in the highest value of dry shoot weight and total leaf area of ​​the cucumber plant compared to other treatments. The results of the laboratory experiment showed that incubation of RKN eggs and J2s in electrified water led to stopping egg hatching and to the death of most J2s for all periods of exposure (5, 10 or 15 min) compared to the high rate of hatching and vitality of most J2s in untreated water. Similarly, the treatment of olive trees with electric current resulted in a significant decrease (P≤0.05) in some RKN live males and J2s/100 g soil and a significant increase in the number of dead individuals. Whereas, the highest numbers of active RKN J2s and males and lowest numbers of dead individuals were recorded in the control treatment where the soil of the olive tree was not treated with electrical current.

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