Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Watermelon's Hidden Killer: Researchers Seek Disease-resistant Cultivars To Sustain Watermelon Crop Production

Date:
September 8, 2009
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Watermelon vine decline is a new and emerging disease that has created devastating economic losses for watermelon producers in Florida. Caused by the whitefly-transmitted squash vein yellowing virus, the disease created monetary losses estimated at $60 to $70 million in Florida during the 2004 growing season. Responding to producers' concerns, scientists recently identified the cause of WVD and are seeking ways to control the plague.

Watermelon vine decline (WVD) is a new and emerging disease that has created devastating economic losses for watermelon producers in Florida. Caused by the whitefly-transmitted squash vein yellowing virus (SqVYV), the disease created monetary losses estimated at $60 to $70 million in Florida during the 2004 growing season. The virus has become endemic in Florida and has appeared to varying degrees every season since it was first observed.

Symptoms of WVD typically occur at or just before harvest, when the vines rapidly collapse. Although affected fruit can appear healthy, rind necrosis and flesh degradation are often evident when fruits are cut, dramatically limiting marketability. The disease progresses rapidly; in some fields vine decline increased from 10% affected plants to greater than 80% within a week. In other cases, entire watermelon fields were lost to WVD. Clearly, the healthy and popular watermelon is under siege from the WVD plague.

Responding to producers' concerns, scientists recently identified the cause of WVD and are seeking ways to control the plague. Chandrasekar S. Kousik and colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and SWFREC, University of Florida, published the results of a research study of WVD in a recent issue of the ASHS journal HortScience. "In this study, we presented results of greenhouse and field evaluations of U.S. plant introductions for resistance to SqVYV", explained Kousik.

Although whitefly management can significantly reduce the population of this SQVYV vector, complete control is not possible. Thus, the search for long-term and sustainable strategies to manage SqVYV remains important. Development of watermelon cultivars resistant to either SqVYV or its whitefly vector is a promising alternative.

Of the 218 plant introductions (PI) evaluated in the study, none were completely immune, but several PI showed varying levels of resistance and were further evaluated in greenhouse and field trials. "Our studies indicated that these PI could significantly slow down disease development over time compared with the susceptible cultivars, but also indicated that, under extreme circumstances, the resistance offered by some of the genes may not be enough to manage the disease," Kousik said.

The identification of potential sources of partial resistance to SqVYV suggests that watermelon germplasm with moderate resistance can be developed for breeding programs. The scientists suggest that even when some of these resistant genes are moved into commercial cultivars, an integrated approach that includes the use of reflective mulch, application of pesticides to manage whitefly populations, and weed/cucurbit crop volunteer control, will be needed to fully manage WVD.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kousik, Chandrasekar S., Adkins, Scott, Turechek, William W., Roberts, Pamela D. Sources of Resistance in U.S. Plant Introductions to Watermelon Vine Decline Caused by Squash Vein Yellowing Virus. HortScience, 2009; 44: 256-262

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Watermelon's Hidden Killer: Researchers Seek Disease-resistant Cultivars To Sustain Watermelon Crop Production." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090904165251.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2009, September 8). Watermelon's Hidden Killer: Researchers Seek Disease-resistant Cultivars To Sustain Watermelon Crop Production. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090904165251.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Watermelon's Hidden Killer: Researchers Seek Disease-resistant Cultivars To Sustain Watermelon Crop Production." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090904165251.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins