Submitted to: South Texas Melon Committee Annual Research Report
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Cucurbits are an important source of agricultural income in Texas. Continuous and intensive cultivation of these crops has resulted in an increase in both the number and severity of diseases involved in the vine decline complex and consequently has accounted for significant economic losses. In 1995, a Stagonospora-like fungus was isolated from roots of melon plants exhibiting severe vine decline. Surveys conducted in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas since 1995 to determine the range of pathogenic fungi associated with melon roots indicated that the Stagonospora-like fungus was present in most of the fields sampled. Based on greenhouse and microplot pathogenicity studies, the Stagonospora-like fungus appears to be a moderately aggressive pathogen of cantaloupe. Inoculation of 'Magnum 45' roots with as low as 400 CFUs caused significant root damage to seedlings in the greenhouse and mature plants in microplots. .The similarity of results of studies with other known cucurbit pathogens Monosporascus cannonballus, Macrophomina phaseolina, Acremonium cucurbitacearum, etc.) suggest that the Stagonospora-like fungus is a pathogen that may be capable of producing a vine decline. This fungus, along with numerous other fungi contribute to the vine decline complex.