|Hassell, Richard -|
Submitted to: Plant Disease Management Reports
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: January 30, 2011
Publication Date: March 28, 2011
Citation: Kousik, C.S., Hassell, R. 2011. Evaluation of Commercial Melon Rootstocks for Tolerance to Crown Rot, 2010. Plant Disease Management Reports. 5:V057. Technical Abstract: Grafting melon onto rootstocks to manage soil-borne diseases is a relatively new strategy being tested in the U.S.A. Grafting is being successfully used to manage various soil borne diseases in parts of Asia and Europe. Commercial rootstocks were evaluated for tolerance to crown rot caused by Phytophthora capsici in a greenhouse in Charleston, SC. Seedlings were inoculated four weeks after seeding when most of the plants had one to two true leaves. Each plant was inoculated with 1 ml zoospore suspension (25,000 zoospores/ml) at the base of the plant. The plants were kept under water saturated condition for 3 days after inoculation. Data on crown rot development was recorded twice weekly starting at 4 days after inoculation for one month on a 1-9 scale where: 1=no visible disease symptoms on the hypocotyls and 9= plant dead. The commercial melon cultivar Athena was used as a control. Significant differences (P=0.02685) in the reaction of the rootstocks and melon cultivars to crown rot over time was observed. The inter-specific hybrid rootstock Kazako was highly susceptible and most plants were dead by three weeks after inoculation. The melon cultivar Ariel was the most tolerant to crown rot in this study. However, by the end of the experiment death of some plants of the cultivar Ariel were also observed. The wild hybrid melon rootstock, Dinero also was susceptible, and many plants succumbed to crown rot by three weeks after inoculation. Our data indicates the need to develop rootstocks for grafting melon with resistance to crown rot caused by P. capsici.