UV System Means ‘Lights Out’ for Strawberry Pathogen (Growing America)

UV System Means ‘Lights Out’ for Strawberry Pathogen

When the light goes on, it’s lights out for a ruinous strawberry pathogen.

Just imagine this: Pulling an ultraviolet lamp behind a tractor out into your farm in the middle of the night, pointing the UV light at the strawberries and zapping powdery mildew right out of the leaves and fruit.

That’s the idea behind new research led by UF/IFAS plant pathology professor Natalia Peres. A new study she led shows that UV light kills powdery mildew, a disease that can significantly damage strawberries.

“UV treatments applied once or twice weekly were as effective as the best available fungicides applied on similar schedules for control of strawberry powdery mildew,” Peres said. “It’s not a one-time fluke.”

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