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How does winter pruning affect peach tree- Myzus persicae interactions?

Abstract : Winter tree pruning is a cultural practice known to modify vegetative growth, which is likely to affect the development of pests. However, it has been poorly addressed as a cultural control method for diminishing the population levels of the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Homoptera: Aphididae), in peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch (Rosaceae)] orchards. In this study, we conducted a 2-year, on-station experiment to evaluate how winter pruning affects peach-M. persicae interactions, by examining tree vegetative growth, aphid population dynamics, and crop yield and fruit quality. We collected data under an insect-proof shelter on adult peach trees submitted to various levels of pruning and artificially infested with aphids. Our results showed that pruning enhanced shoot growth due to the proportion of growing shoots, which increased exponentially (10-60%), whereas the growth rate of growing shoots was not affected. The degree of infestation of peach trees increased with increasing pruning intensity. This effect was mainly due to the increase of the proportion of growing shoots, on which aphids developed better than on rosettes. In turn, the higher the aphid infestation, the higher the aphid-induced shoot-tip damage, leaf curling, and leaf fall that disturbed the growth of growing shoots. However, aphids did not considerably reduce fruit quality at harvest. They did not affect fresh fruit weight, and the refractometric index (indicator of sugar content) was reduced by only 3-4%. The relevance of winter pruning as a cultural method for pest control in orchards conducted under integrated fruit production guidelines is discussed.
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Isabelle Grechi, Marie-Helene Sauge-Collet, Benoîtenoit Sauphanor, Nadine Hilgert, Rachid Senoussi, et al.. How does winter pruning affect peach tree- Myzus persicae interactions?. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, Wiley, 2008, 128 (3), pp.369-379. ⟨10.1111/j.1570-7458.2008.00720.x⟩. ⟨hal-00857825⟩

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