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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #110478


item MILLER, M.E.
item MARTYN, R.D.
item Bruton, Benny

Submitted to: Cucurbitacea
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Vine decline is a broad term used to describe a disease syndrone in cucurbits in which the vines begin to collapse and die as the fruit approach maturity. In the southwestern United States, Monosporascus cannonballus has been responsible for severe losses in melon production. Because there is no acceptable level of genetic resistance within the commercially available melon cultivars, other avenues of disease control must be pursued. This study demonstrated that fumigation significantly increased vine growth and fruit yield in fields with a history of vine decline. Until additional control strategies are developed, fumigation appears to be the only viable measure for control of the disease in fields heavily infested with M. cannonballus.

Technical Abstract: Muskmelon fruit yields were significantly increased after injection of either 1,3 dichloropropene (DCP), 1,3 dichloropropene 74.0% + chloropicrin 16.5% (DCP 74.0% + chloropicrin 16.5%), methyl bromide 67.0% + chloropicrin 33.0%, or chloropicrin 96.5% in fields naturally infested with Monosporascus cannonballus in south Texas. Increasing the treatment application band width from 0.3 to 0.9 m did not significantly affect frui yield. Covering plots with plastic tarp for 10 days following application of metham sodium (MS), DCP, and DCP 74.0% + chloropicrin 16.5% did not significantly affect vine lengths or fruit yield. Colony forming units/g dry weight of soil of Fusarium spp. used as a bio-indicator of fumigant efficacy were significantly reduced by MS and DCP 74.0% + chloropicrin 16.5% but not by DCP. All fumigant treatments except MS increased vine lengths. There was a positive linear relationship (Y = 10.8 + 0.42(X), r**2 = 0.65) between vine lengths 45 - 55 days after planting and fruit yield.