Botrytis and Thrips Research Campaign

Botrytis damage

In 2017, a special research campaign was established to address the control and management of Botrytis and thrips.

Losses from these pests affect all segments of the industry every day. Botrytis and thrips are challenging to control using currently available pesticides and management strategies.

Goal: Raise $1.5 million through industry support to conduct new and innovative research leading to effective control procedures and management strategies. The research will lead to reduced losses and higher quality flowers and plants.


AFE is in the early stages of fundraising, so industry-wide support and funding is needed!

Click here to download and fill out the form to support this important initiative.

Contact AFE Research Coordinator Dr. Terril Nell for more information!

The following research projects are currently being funded by the Endowment:

Rose Buitenhuis, of The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Lincoln, Ontario, and Melissa Muñoz Agudelo, of Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina spent a day visiting Colombia growers before making presentations at Proflora 2017.

  1. Finding Solutions to Pre-Harvest Botrytis Infection of Cut Roses
    • Objective: Developing and understanding the relationships between the greenhouse environment, such as temperature and cultural practices on Botrytis spore populations in cut roses.
  2. A Novel Approach to Fungal-based Thrips Management with Marigold Guardian Plants
    • Objective: Evaluating the persistence of Beauveria bassiana, an insect-killing fungus, that when combined with a solid nutritional substrate (millet) in the potting mix will provide control of western flower thrips for longer periods.
  3. Successful IPM of Western Flower Thrips Starts with Clean Cuttings
    • Objective: Investigating the use of cutting dips containing reduced-risk materials (insecticidal soap, mineral oil) and biopesticides (Beauveria bassiana) as a means of reducing thrips infestations on propagative materials.
  4. Spray Application of Calcium and Silicon on Flower Petals to Improve Resistance to Botrytis Infection and Western Flower Thrips Feeding
    • Objective: Evaluating the effect of calcium and silicon to improve flower petal resistance to Botrytis and western flower thrips.
  5. Ultraviolet Light for Integrated Pest Management of Western Flower Thrips
    • Objective: Determining the effect of the western flower thrips’ lethal dose of UV-C exposure on the growth and flowering of roses and mums under lab conditions.
  6.  Distinction of Arthropod-Induced Stressor of Chrysanthemum Using Hyperspectral Imaging Technologies
    • Objective: To provide novel and innovative insight into the practical potential of robotics and machine vision as part of improving and automating crop monitoring inside greenhouses.
  7. Integrate Management of Thrips Using New Generation Bioinsecticides and Commercially-Reared Natural Enemies
    • Objective: To screen new biochemical pesticides for activity against WFT in rose v. ‘Tropicana’ and evaluate promising materials in replicated greenhouse rose trials with natural enemies (predatory mites.) Conduct grower demonstration trial using the best program in Texas and with Columbian flower grower cooperator.

Important Resources:
  • Proflora Presentations 2017:
  1. Integrated Pest Management of Thrips
  2. Botrytis Management in Cut Roses
  3. Manejo integrado de Botrytis en rosas de corte
  • Articles:
  1. Designing Your Greenhouse IPM Program

  2. IPM: Prevention and Early Intervention

  3. Rise of Microbes Offers Growers Important New Tools

  4. IPM Update: 1001 Ways to Use Predatory Mites

  5. How to Use Non-Crop Plants in Your Thrips IPM Programs

Thank you to the following organizations who have made contributions in support of this important initiative:

  • Altman Plants
  • Bouquet Collection, Inc.
  • CalFlowers
  • Continental Flowers
  • Equiflor Corp. – Rio Roses
  • Falcon Farms, Inc.
  • FlorExpo, LLC
  • Fresca Farms
  • Galleria Farms
  • Golden Flowers
  • Jardines de los Andes
  • Joseph H. Hill Memorial Foundation, Inc.
  • Kee Kitayama Research Foundation
  • Mayesh Wholesale Florist
  • Metrolina Greenhouses
  • Passion Growers
  • Royal Flowers
  • Tagawa Greenhouses
  • The Elite Flower Company
  • The Queen’s Flowers Corp.
  • Solé Farms
  • Sunshine Bouquet Company