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Effect of Bicyclopyrone on Triploid Watermelon in Plasticulture

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 June 2018

Matthew B. Bertucci*
Graduate Student, North Carolina State University, Department of Horticultural Science, Raleigh, NC, USA
Katherine M. Jennings
Associate Professor, North Carolina State University, Department of Horticultural Science, Raleigh, NC, USA
David W. Monks
Associate Director, North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, Raleigh, NC, USA
David L. Jordan
Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
Jonathan R. Schultheis
Professor, North Carolina State University, Department of Horticultural Science, Raleigh, NC, USA
Frank J. Louws
Professor and Director, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology and National Science Foundation-Center for Integrated Pest Management, Raleigh, NC, USA
Matthew D. Waldschmidt
Research Technician, North Carolina State University, Department of Horticultural Science, Raleigh, NC, USA
Author for correspondence: M. Bertucci, Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607. (E-mail:


Field studies were conducted to determine watermelon tolerance and yield response when treated with bicyclopyrone preplant (PREPLANT), POST, and POST-directed (POST-DIR). Treatments consisted of two rates of bicyclopyrone (37.5 and 50 g ai ha–1), fomesafen (175 g ai ha–1), S-metolachlor (802 g ai ha–1), and a nontreated check. Preplant treatments were applied to formed beds 1 d prior to transplanting and included bicyclopyrone (37.5 and 50 g ha–1) and fomesafen (175 g ha–1), and new polyethylene mulch was subsequently laid above treated beds. POST and POST-DIR treatments were applied 14 ± 1 d after watermelon transplanting and included bicyclopyrone (37.5 and 50 g ha–1) POST and POST-DIR, and S-metolachlor (802 g ai ha–1) POST-DIR. POST-DIR treatments were applied to row middles, ensuring that no herbicide contacted watermelon vines or polyethylene mulch. At 2 wk after transplanting (WAT), 15% foliar bleaching was observed in watermelon treated with bicyclopyrone (50 g ha–1) PRE. At 3 WAT, bicyclopyrone (37.5 and 50 g ha–1) POST caused 16% and 17% foliar bleaching and 8% and 9% crop stunting, respectively. At 4 WAT, initial injury had subsided and bicyclopyrone (37.5 and 50 g ha–1) POST caused 4% and 4% foliar bleaching and 4% and 8% crop stunting, respectively. No symptoms of bleaching or stunting were observed at 6- and 8-WAT ratings. Watermelon total yield, marketable yield, total fruit number, marketable fruit number, and average fruit size were unaffected by herbicide treatments. Therefore, registration of bicyclopyrone (37.5 and 50 g ha–1) PREPLANT, POST, and POST-DIR would offer watermelon producers a safe herbicide option and a novel mode of action for weed management.

Research Article
© Weed Science Society of America, 2018 

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