Submitted to: Popular Publication
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2008
Publication Date: 5/1/2008
Citation: Bruton, B.D., Roberts, P.D. 2008. Cucurbit Yellow Vine Disease suspected in Florida. The Vineline. National Watermelon Association, May. p. 30.
Technical Abstract: In the late fall of 2007, a watermelon field in Hendry County, Florida was examined that had symptoms of vine decline. The watermelon plants exhibited some symptoms that were consistent with Watermelon Vine Decline, caused by the whitefly-transmitted virus in the genus Ipomovirus. However, there were additional symptoms that were not consistent with Watermelon Vine Decline. These included the decline and death of vines at a much younger stage (fruit-set) than would have been expected if caused solely by the virus. In addition, microscopic examination of the lower crown revealed a honey-brown discoloration in the phloem of some plants; symptoms that are consistent with Cucurbit Yellow Vine Disease (CYVD) caused by Serratia marcescens. Bacteria isolated from the affected tissues and inoculated into squash confirmed that the disease was CYVD. At present, the squash bug is the only known vector of this bacterial pathogen in cucurbits. Based on information from the field consultant, there was a low population of squash bugs in the early season. Although CYVD has previously been found in the states of Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Massachusetts, this is the first time the disease has been observed in Florida.