- Vegetables: cucurbits
- Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
- Pest Management: general pest management
Cucurbits are major crops in Illinois and other parts of the North Central region. About 90 percent of the commercial processing pumpkins in the United States (US) are grown in Illinois. Virus diseases are major threats to production of cucurbit crops in commercial fields, as well as home gardens. Thirty-two viruses have been reported on cucurbits from vegetable growing areas in the world. Among 32-reported viruses causing diseases on cucurbits, only five viruses including cucumber mosaic virus(CMV),watermelon mosaic virus(WMV), papaya ringspot virus(PRSV), squash mosaic virus(SqMV), and zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), have been identified in Illinois and other states in the North Central region. While, several other viruses, such as squash leaf curl virus (SLCV), lettuce infectious yellows virus (LIYV), tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV), and tomato ringspot virus (TmRSV), have been reported to cause yield losses on cucurbits in other cucurbit growing areas in the US. Cucurbit viruses cause very similar symptoms in plants making it difficult to identify the disease based on symptomatology. The identification of the virus is vital for any management strategies to control cucurbit viruses. This proposal is a two-year project to determine the viruses associated with cucurbit crops in Illinois. The specific objectives are: 1) to determine the occurrence and distribution of viral diseases in cucurbit field in Illinois using serological detection methods; 2) to determine specific symptom(s) associated with each virus to aid visual diagnosis of cucurbit virus diseases; 3) to test the “Koch Postulates” for all the viruses identified on cucurbits in a greenhouse; and 4) to compare the efficiency of molecular diagnostic methods (e.g., ELISA and PCR) in detecting cucurbit viruses, particularly Potyviruses in cucurbits. The results of this research will help to develop effective strategies for management of virus diseases in cucurbits in Illinois, the other North Central states, as well as cucurbit growing areas in the world. The results also will be presented to the growers, agribusiness personnel, extension specialists, and scientists, and will be published in extension and peer-reviewed journals.
Project objectives from proposal:
The short-term outcome of the research would be to identify the viruses associated with cucurbits. The intermediate- and long- term goals would be to develop effective management strategies for management of virus diseases of cucurbits. Accurate identification of the viruses is essential to determine disease ecology. Development of effective strategies for management of diseases without understanding ecology of diseases would not be possible. Overall results of this research are expected to help to establish sustainable production of cucurbit crops in Illinois and cucurbit crowing areas in the North Central region.