Effect of Messenger® on Chile Pepper Production and Bacterial Spot in 2001
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AbstractMessenger is based on naturally occurring proteins called harpins that trigger natural plant defense systems to protect against disease and pest damage as well as activating plant growth pathways for potential improvements in crop yield and quality. An experiment was established in a commercial chile pepper field in Cochise County to evaluate the effect of Messenger on chile pepper production and bacterial spot. Bacterial spot of pepper occurs wherever this crop is exposed to moisture due to rainfall or overhead irrigation. Foliar application of Messenger, Kocide 2000 + Maneb 75DF (a standard bacterial spot treatment) or Messenger + Kocide + Maneb was performed June 5, 19 and 28; July 16; and August 8 and 22. A foliar defoliation (bacterial spot) rating was performed September 5 and yield (weight and number of chile peppers) was determined September 20 and 21. Compared to nontreated plants, the mean weight of chile peppers harvested from plants treated with Messenger, Kocide + Maneb and Messenger + Kocide + Maneb increased 11, 15 and 24%, respectively, whereas the number of peppers increased 14, 15 and 21%, respectively. The severity of bacterial spot symptoms was numerically (but not significantly) lower on plants treated with Messenger, Kocide + Maneb and Messenger + Kocide + Maneb compared to nontreated plants.