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LOGO: Journal of Cotton Science


Comparison of Sticky Cotton Indices and Sugar Composition

Authors: Jay S. Bancroft, Robert Hutmacher, Larry Godfrey, Peter B. Goodell, Michael McGuire, Paul Funk, and Steve Wright
Pages: 97-104
Arthropod Management

Sticky cotton lint contaminates equipment in gins and textile mills, and requires costly stoppages for cleaning and repair. The primary source of stickiness is sugars from insect honeydew. This manuscript assesses relationships among measurements of sugar composition and two methods used to measure stickiness. The hypothesis was that the measures of stickiness and sugar composition will be highly correlated. Variables were compared to look for patterns that could be used to improve our understanding and management of stickiness. Experimental trials were conducted in seven fields over 3 years. A total of 724 samples of cotton lint were tested for stickiness with the Lintronics Fiber Contamination Tester (LFCT) and the High Speed Stickiness Detector (H2SD). Sugar composition testing was also performed on a subset of 325 samples. Coefficients of variation, correlations, and factor analyses were used to identify relationships among the variables reported from each source of test data. The strongest relationships were between large spots on the H2SD and intermediate sized spots on the LFCT (R = 0.46). The LFCT demonstrated greater precision than the H2SD, based on coefficients of variation. Sugar composition was dominated by those found in plants (72%) with 6% from melezitose and 22% from trehalulose. The H2SD was more closely associated with aphid-derived sugars, and the LFCT was more closely associated with whitefly-derived sugars. Relationships between sugar content and stickiness indices indicate complex biochemical interactions that require further study. The factor analysis reduced the stickiness measurements to a single value that is more representative of the stickiness than total number of spots. The use of factor coefficients in linear combination is demonstrated to create enhanced indices of stickiness.