Evaluation of the insect resistance of interspecific squash hybrids

2011 Annual Report for FNE11-709

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2011: $4,022.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Region: Northeast
State: Connecticut
Project Leader:
Bryan Connolly
Green Dragon Farm

Evaluation of the insect resistance of interspecific squash hybrids


This project will evaluate the insect resistance of hybrid hubbard/kabocha maxima x butternut squashes. Maxima squashes are known for their excellent table and ornamental qualities but they are extremely susceptible to both striped cucumber beetle and squash vine borer. Conversely, butternut squashes have good table quality and low ornamental value but excellent insect resistance. We would like to evaluate the little known Japanese maxima x butternut hybrid squash ‘Tetsukabuto’ and compare it to the parental species. Additionally, we will create new hybrids attempting to capture the table and ornamental qualities of maxima types and combine them with the insect resistance of the butternut squashes.

Essentially no change has occurred on our farm.
Robert Durgy Farm Manager Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Griswold Research Center 190 Sheldon Rd. Griswold, CT 06351 860-376-0365 robert.durgy@ct.gov
Rob is the technical adviser for the project.

Moschata, maxima, and Tetsukabota squash were grown as planned. Striped cucumber beetle and squash vine borer evaluations were carried out. Squash were harvested, counted, and weighed. Hybridizations were performed but with a low success rate, only buttercup (maxima) x butternut (moschata) produced viable seed this year.

The project essentially went according to plan; squash were grown and assessed for insect resistance and yield measured. Tetsukabuto appears to be as resistant as the two moschata cultivars, the maxima cultivar blue hubbard appeared to be the most susceptible of all squash types grown to insect pests. Seeds were produced of buttercup (maxima) x butternut (moschata) and will be added to the trial next year. No site specific conditions seems to have affected the results this year, though some late season nitrogen may have helped boost yields.

Tetsukabuto performed agronomically very well and could have a positive impact on our squash sales. It also has very high table quality.

Another season of study will be needed to confirm the results, then data analysis, and outreach will be done after the second year of trial.

The moschata Kikuza flowered very late and generally has low production; a similar but earlier squash may be used in its place for next growing season.

I have recently learned that there are several new Cucurbita maxima x moschata hybrids available from the European seed company KCB Samen http://www.kcb-samen.ch I will add a few plants of each of the following cultivars and assess their insect resistance: Armor F1, Greenstone F1, Potkin Small F1, Supermarket F1, and Triunfo F1. These all look fairly similar to Tetsukabuto but may vary in agronomic or culinary properties.

Objectives/Performance Targets


Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes


Robert Durgy

Farm Manager
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
190 Sheldon Rd.
Griswold, CT 06351
Office Phone: 8603760365