Vol 124 (2011): Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society

Reduced Incidence of Tomato Plants with Symptoms of Tomato yellow leaf curl virusInfection Grown on Ultraviolet-reflective Soil Mulch

David J Schuster
University of Florida, IFAS, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598
James P Gilreath
PhytoServices, 16 W. Hillcrest Drive, Greenville, SC 29609
Roberto Cordero
Seminis Vegetable Seeds Inc., 474 Watercrest Street, Sebastian, FL 32958
Phyllis R Gilreath
PhytoServices, 16 W. Hillcrest Drive, Greenville, SC 29609
Published December 1, 2011
  • sweetpotato whitefly,
  • silverleaf whitefly,
  • Bemisia tabaci,
  • Bemisia argentifolii,
  • cultural control


Biotype B of the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci(Genn.) is a major economic pest of tomatoes, Solanum lycopersicum(L.) in southern Florida. Most economic damage occurs through the transmission of Tomato yellow leaf curl virus(TYLCV) on tomato. Ultraviolet light reflective (metalized) polyethylene mulch was evaluated as an alternative method to insecticides for managing whitefly adults and TYLCV. In studies conducted in the spring seasons of 2005 and 2006, whitefly adult abundance and incidence of plants with symptoms of TYLCV infection were compared for tomato plants grown on raised beds covered with a metalized mulch, a black mulch, or a white on black virtually impermeable film mulch. The numbers of whitefly adults did not always differ statistically on specific sampling dates on plants grown on the different mulches; however, the cumulative numbers of adults over sampling dates did. A lower percentage of tomato plants grown on metalized mulch had symptoms of TYLCV infection compared to tomato plants grown on black or white mulch film in 2005 and to plants grown on white mulch in 2006. Using metalized mulch can contribute to management of whitefly adults and TYLCV.