Minimising losses caused by Zucchini yellow mosaic virus in vegetable cucurbit crops in tropical, sub-tropical and Mediterranean environments through cultural methods and host resistance

B A Coutts, M A Kehoe, R A C Jones
Virus Research 2011, 159 (2): 141-60
Between 2006 and 2009, 10 field experiments were done at Kununurra, Carnarvon or Medina in Western Australia (WA) which have tropical, sub-tropical and Mediterranean climates, respectively. These experiments investigated the effectiveness of cultural control measures in limiting ZYMV spread in pumpkin, and single-gene resistance in commercial cultivars of pumpkin, zucchini and cucumber. Melon aphids (Aphis gossypii) colonised field experiments at Kununurra; migrant green peach aphids (Myzus persicae) visited but did not colonise at Carnarvon and Medina. Cultural control measures that diminished ZYMV spread in pumpkin included manipulation of planting date to avoid exposing young plants to peak aphid vector populations, deploying tall non-host barriers (millet, Pennisetum glaucum) to protect against incoming aphid vectors and planting upwind of infection sources. Clustering of ZYMV-infected pumpkin plants was greater without a 25m wide non-host barrier between the infection source and the pumpkin plants than when one was present, and downwind compared with upwind of an infection source. Host resistance gene zym was effective against ZYMV isolate Knx-1 from Kununurra in five cultivars of cucumber. In zucchini, host resistance gene Zym delayed spread of infection (partial resistance) in 2 of 14 cultivars but otherwise did not diminish final ZYMV incidence. Zucchini cultivars carrying Zym often developed severe fruit symptoms (8/14), and only the two cultivars in which spread was delayed and one that was tolerant produced sufficiently high marketable yields to be recommended when ZYMV epidemics are anticipated. In three pumpkin cultivars with Zym, this gene was effective against isolate Cvn-1 from Carnarvon under low inoculum pressure, but not against isolate Knx-1 under high inoculum pressure, although symptoms were milder and marketable yields greater in them than in cultivars without Zym. These findings allowed additional cultural control recommendations to be added to the existing Integrated Disease Management strategy for ZYMV in vegetable cucurbits in WA, but necessitated modification of its recommendations over deployment of cultivars with resistance genes.

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