Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2008
Publication Date: 6/1/2008
Citation: Adkins, S.T., Kousik, C.S., Webb, S.E., Baker, C.A., Turechek, W. 2008. Plant reservoirs of Squash vein yellowing virus, causal agent of viral watermelon vine decline, and other whitefly-transmitted cucurbit viruses in Florida. HortScience. 43(3)623 Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Squash vein yellowing virus (SqVYV) was identified in cucurbits in Florida in 2005 and shown to be sufficient to induce a watermelon vine decline and fruit rind necrosis that had been observed for several years previously. This novel virus species was shown to be whitefly-transmissible and has now been isolated from declining watermelons for the past six growing seasons in southwest and west-central Florida where it has caused significant economic impact to watermelon production. The virus disease situation in watermelon (and cucurbits in general) recently worsened in Florida with the detection of two additional whitefly-transmitted viruses. Cucurbit leaf crumple virus (CuLCrV) was found in squash in north-central Florida in the fall of 2006 and in watermelon in southwest Florida in the spring of 2007. Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV) was found in watermelon in west-central Florida in the fall of 2007. Prior to the discovery of CYSDV in Florida, cucurbit weeds were examined as potential reservoirs of SqVYV and CuLCrV. Balsam-apple (Momordica charantia), a common cucurbit weed in south Florida was collected and tested for SqVYV and CuLCrV. Over 40% of the 86 balsam-apple plants collected from watermelon growing areas with previously reported cases of vine decline were found to be infected with SqVYV. A single balsam-apple plant was found to be infected with CuLCrV. A second common cucurbit weed, creeping cucumber (Melothria pendula) was determined to be an experimental host for SqVYV. In addition, green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) plants with virus-like symptoms in southwest Florida collected in December 2007 were determined to be infected with CuLCrV. Collectively, these results show that in Florida cucurbit weeds can provide reservoirs for SqVYV and CuLCrV, and that green beans can also provide a reservoir for CuLCrV.