Ciência e Agrotecnologia
versão impressa ISSN 1413-7054
SILVA, Valkíria Fabiana da; MORAES, Jair Campos e MELO, Bruno Almeida. Influence of silicon on the development, productivity and infestation by insect pests in potato crops. Ciênc. agrotec. [online]. 2010, vol.34, n.6, pp. 1465-1469. ISSN 1413-7054. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-70542010000600016.
Potato crops are susceptible to various insect pests including the aphid Myzus persicae (Hemiptera, Aphididae) and the beetle Diabrotica speciosa (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae). Induced resistance through silicon treatment of plants represents a potential strategy in pest management. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of silicic acid on the development, productivity and level of infestation by beetles and aphids following foliar application to potato plants cultivated in the presence of organic compost or chemical fertiliser. Four experimental groups were studied, namely, plants cultivated in soil supplied with organic compost (30 t/ha) and either treated or non-treated with 0.5% silicic acid, and plants cultivated in soil supplied with NPK fertiliser (4:14:8; 4 t/ha) and either treated or non-treated with 0.5% silicic acid. The number of aphids and beetles detected on the leaves and the number of lesions caused by the beetles were evaluated. The height and the stem diameter of the plants were determined 60 days after the emergence and the productivity was determined 95 days after the planting of the seed potatoes. The results demonstrated that there were no interactions between silicic acid treatment and way of cultivation. Moreover, the incidence of beetles and aphids was not influenced by weekly application of silicon, and neither were the development and the productivity of plants. Although the development and productivity of organically cultivated plants were inferior to those grown in the presence of chemical fertiliser, plants cultivated on organic compost were less susceptible to attack by beetles.
Palavras-chave : Solanum tuberosum; silicon acid; pest resistance.