Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2007
Publication Date: 7/19/2007
Citation: Roberts, P.D., Stansly, P.A., Adkins, S.T., Kousik, C.S., Bruton, B.D. 2007. Management of Whitefly Populations for the Control of Watermelon Vine Decline in Florida. Phytopathology. 97:S182.
Technical Abstract: Field studies were designed to confirm that a new ipomovirus, Squash vein yellowing virus (SqVYV), causes watermelon vine decline (WVD) in Florida and is transmitted by the silverleaf whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Biotype “B”). Two field studies were conducted in 2006 at SWFREC, Immokalee, FL, in the spring and fall growing seasons. Watermelon plants mechanically inoculated with SqVYV in the field at different growth stages developed WVD symptoms. Watermelon plants exposed to virus-infected squash plants developed symptoms typical of WVD and produced fruit with typical rot symptoms of WVD. Watermelon plants grown in screened cages that prevented whitefly infestation did not develop symptoms of WVD including fruit rot. Insecticide applications of immidacloprid at transplanting and subsequent foliage applications of pymetrozine did not prevent WVD on treated plants in the spring trial. However, in the fall trial, the rate of spread, severity of WVD, and the number of whiteflies on plants treated with these insecticides decreased compared to the untreated plants. Experiments targeting management of WVD by insecticidal control of whiteflies and integrated with cultural methods will be explored.