Concept 1: Gene Regulation in Bacteria
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Review (1 page) Concept 2: The Lactose Operon
The larval stage lasts 14–18 days, and the larvae reach approximately 1 3/4 in. in length before the pupal stage. The larval stages prefer to feed on fruiting structures or flower buds, particularly on tomatoes, but will also feed on leaves in a ragged fashion. Besides tomatoes, the earworm also feeds on cucumbers and lettuce as well as many other plants. When feeding on the fruit, the larva may stay inside a single fruit, boring and feeding until it pupates. However, it also may bore into numerous fruits during its life cycle. Pupation takes place on the ground, soil, or trash after the larva drops from its feeding site. The pupal stage takes 7–10 days. The major damage of the earworm is that its feeding habits ruin the fruit so that it cannot be marketed. This is particularly costly since much energy, time, and money have been put into a crop by the time this damage occurs.
Greenhouse owners who grow transplants should take extra precautions to keep the transplants free of whiteflies. One of the major means of infestation into clean houses is through infested transplants.
Glossary of Terms: P - Physical Geography
Spider mites are particularly damaging to tomatoes and cucumbers. Although it is often hard to determine specific economic damage thresholds under all conditions and crop prices, research has established some guidelines for damage indexes for cucumbers and tomatoes. The number found per square inch of leaf determines the severity of a spider mite infestation. On cucumbers, slightly less than 12 mites per square inch will start causing crop losses. At this infestation level, 40% of the leaf area will be affected. Approximately 55–60 mites per square inch can result in 40% yield loss when this number is reached after the plants are five weeks old or older. On tomatoes, the threshold is similar, with 12 mites per square inch resulting in approximately 30% of the leaf photosynthetic area being affected. This level initiates crop loss. Mites can easily build to over 600 mites per square inch in a short time. For example, in a glasshouse test involving cucumbers, mites increased from 12 to approximately 107 per square inch in 12 days. For tomatoes, the glasshouse test showed a mite population increase from 12 to approximately 413 mites per square inch in 16 days. These tests were also run at 61°F and 70°F. At warmer temperatures, the mite populations would be expected to be even greater for a given time period.
There are no specific thresholds for armyworms under greenhouse conditions. However, research under field conditions indicates that action should be taken when any eggs or one larva per four plants is found. Growers should carefully scout for larvae. Larvae begin to eat tremendous volumes of foliage once they are 1/2 of an inch long. Larvae are increasingly difficult to control as they increase in size, and once they reach the late instars, insecticides may not be effective. Greenhouse growers cannot legally use a majority of the insecticides that farmers can use on the same crop under field conditions. Therefore, the objective is to control any armyworm before it exceeds 1/2 of an inch in length.
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