Role of arthropods in the transmission of postbloom fruit drop.
Postbloom fruit drop (PFD) (caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides [Glomerella cingulata]) is one of the most important problems affecting lime, Citrus latifolia, in southern Florida, USA. Preliminary studies were conducted during 1988-89 to determine the effect of damage caused by mealybugs, Planococcus citri, thrips, Frankliniella sp., citrus midge, Prodiplosis longifila and simulated insect injury and their relationship to postbloom fruit drop (PFD) in limes. Damage by these insects and mechanical injury to flowers was not related to PFD severity. Further studies on PFD dissemination determined that 2% of arthropods collected in lime orchards during 1988-89 carried spores of G. cingulata. The role of Drosophila sp. as a PFD vector is discussed. This paper was presented at the 102nd Annual Meeting of the Florida State Horticultural Society held at Tampa, Florida, USA, Oct. 31 - Nov 2., 1989.