2010 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop sustainable management strategies to manage watermelon vine decline.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Using a combination of reflective plastic mulch, resistant pollinators, and pesticde sprays (oils and insecticides) to manage whitefly vector populations, thus resulting in management of SQVYV that causes watermelon vine decline.
This research relates to inhouse objective 2: Identify and develop improved resistance to diseases in cucurbits, e.g. powdery mildew, downy mildew, Phytophthora blight, and watermelon vine decline.
The intent of this study is to develop strategies for managing Squash vein yellowing virus (SqVYV)-induced watermelon vine decline (WVD). The information we develop will be a key component of management strategies. A trial to evaluate the effect of silver plastic mulch and insecticide on managing WVD was conducted in Fall 2009 at SWFREC, University of Florida’s research station, Immokalee, FL. Reducing the whitefly populations using insecticide treatments significantly reduced WVD. Two trials were conducted at the SWFREC, University of Florida’s research station, Immokalee, FL, to determine the effect of SqVYV resistant Pollanizers in slowing down watermelon vine decline in seedless melon production. One trail was conducted in Fall 2009 and one in Spring 2010. In the Spring 2010, the percentage of watermelon fruit with WVD symptoms was significantly less on plots with SqVYV resistant Pollanizers compared to the susceptible pollanizer check plots. This trial will be repeated one more time in Fall 2010. In addition a trial to determine the utility of adding an insecticide (crop oil) to the herbicide treatment as a means to limit the migration of whiteflies to neighboring crops when chemically burning-down the watermelon crop after harvest was performed in four 0.6 Acre watermelon fields in Summer of 2009 at the USVL, USDA, ARS research farm in Charleston, SC. Each field was a block and was spaced at distances from each other to prevent interplot interference. Yellow sticky traps were placed at the north, south, east and west perimeters of each field 1 and 4 days prior to and after the burn-down treatments, that is, an herbicide with and without crop oil plus insecticide. Results from these experiments are being analyzed. The trial will be repeated again in Summer of 2010. Monitoring progress of the experiments at SWFREC was done by a total of 8 site visits (Fall 2009-Spring 2010). In addition progress was monitored by e-mail and phone calls.