|Kousik, Chandrasekar - Shaker|
Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/7/2009
Publication Date: 7/26/2009
Citation: Webb, S.E., Roberts, P.D., Stansly, P.A., Adkins, S.T., Turechek, W., Kousik, C.S. 2009. Managing Whitefly Vectors of Three Cucurbit Viruses New to Florida. Phytopathology. 99:S171. Interpretive Summary: Abstract only.
Technical Abstract: In recent years, three whitefly-transmitted viruses have become a serious problem for growers of cucurbits, especially watermelon, in Florida. Squash vein yellowing virus, an Ipomovirus transmitted in a semi-persistent manner, was identified in 2005 as the causal agent of watermelon vine decline (WVD), a particularly devastating disease of watermelon. Since 2007, Cucurbit leaf crumple virus, a Begomovirus, and Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus, a Crinivirus, have also been identified in melons and squash in southwest Florida. Until resistant varieties are developed, the only option for managing these viruses is more intensive management of the whitefly vector, Bemisia tabaci, B strain. Multiple tactics are being explored because of the very real concern about development of insecticide resistance. Reflective mulch and soil application of a neonicotinoid insecticide combined with foliar application of spiromesifen have been shown to reduce fruit symptoms of WVD. Evaluation of many other insecticides showed reductions in disease severity in research plots, although final disease incidence was not affected. Current efforts focus on integration and further development of management strategies and development of virus and whitefly monitoring tools. Area-wide surveys will identify "hot spots" and reservoir crops for whiteflies and viruses and will help evaluate effects of current and future control strategies on virus incidence in commercial fields.