Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), a member of genus potyvirus in the family Potyviridae, is one of the major viruses on cucurbits. Cultivars of Cucurbita pepo, Cucumis melo, and Citrullus lanatus are particularly affected. However, all other cucurbits, including bottlegourd [Lagenaria siceraria (Mol.) Standl.], are vulnerable to ZYMV infection. Natural infection of bottlegourd by ZYMV has been reported in Hawaii (Ullman et al., 1991), India (Verma et al., 2004), and Serbia (Dukić et al., 2006). Provvidenti et al. (1984) identified two major ZYMV strains in the United States (ZYMV-FL and ZYMV-CT) and showed that although ZYMV-CT incites more severe disease symptoms, its distribution is limited to the northeast. ZYMV-FL is the most prevalent strain in cucurbit crops in North America.
In many cases, planting a disease-resistant cultivar is the best solution for controlling virus diseases in vegetable crops. Resistance to ZYMV in bottlegourd exists in germplasm collected throughout the world (Gerber, 1978; Provvidenti, 1977, 1995). However, the only major test for virus resistance in L. siceraria was carried out with 18 accessions (Provvidenti, 1981). It is therefore necessary to screen U.S. L. siceraria germplasm to identify potential sources of disease resistance that may be useful in developing different bottlegourd lines as vegetables or as rootstocks for watermelon grafting. The objective of this study was to evaluate the U.S. PI collection (190 PIs) of L. siceraria against ZYMV-FL infection. We report the identification of L. siceraria PIs resistant to ZYMV-FL.
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