Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 8, 2012
Publication Date: July 1, 2012
Citation: Kousik, C.S., Adkins, S.T., Webster, C.G., Turechek, W., Roberts, P.D. 2012. Effect of SqVYV-resistant pollenizers on development and spread of watermelon vine decline in seedless watermelon. Phytopathology. 102:54-65. Technical Abstract: Watermelon vine decline (WVD) caused by the whitefly-transmitted Squash vein yellowing virus (SqVYV) has been a major limiting factor in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) production in south Florida for the past several years. The disease causes sudden decline of the vines and affects the internal fruit quality. WVD was estimated to have caused >$60 million in losses in 2004. We have developed several sources of SqVYV-resistant germplasm from U.S. plant introductions (PI) to WVD. Resistant germplasm were used as pollenizers in seedless watermelon (triploid) production, thus creating a mixed genotype situation of resistant pollenizers and susceptible triploid plants. Field trials were conducted in Immokalee, FL, during the spring and fall season of 2010, and 2011. In 2011, an integrated approach using a combination of insecticides and resistant pollenizers was evaluated. No significant interaction between pollenizers and insecticide treatments were observed in 2011. In all the four seasons, plots with the SqVYV resistant line USVL291 (diploid) as the pollenizer had significantly fewer number of susceptible seedless (Tri-X 313) fruit with WVD symptoms compared to seedless (Tri-X 313) fruit in plots with a susceptible pollenizer ‘Mickey Lee’(diploid). Whitefly counts were not significantly different among the resistant or susceptible pollenizer plots. Developing commercial pollenizers with resistance to SqVYV can be an additional tool for managing WVD in Florida.