Evaluation of Virus Resistant Squash and Interaction with Reflective and Nonreflective Mulches

in HortTechnology

A 3-year study to evaluate mulch type (reflective and black) and new virus resistant summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) varieties was undertaken. In the first year of the study (1996), in Shorter, Ala., under slight virus pressure, silver painted mulch suppressed virus symptoms through the final evaluation 2 months after planting. In addition, virus symptoms were significantly more prevalent on `Dixie' compared to `Supersett', `Tigress', `HMX 5727', `Jaguar', `Destiny III', and `Prelude II'. In the second year (1997), two different experiments were conducted in Savannah, Ga., where there was no virus pressure. In the first experiment at the Savannah location, `Tigress' and `HMX 6704' had significantly higher yields than `Destiny III', `Prelude II', `Puma', `Jaguar', `Meigs', `Dixie', and `Supersett'. In the second Savannah experiment, `Prelude II' and `Destiny III' had significantly higher yields than `Zucchini Elite', `Supersett', `HMX 6704', and `Jaguar'. In 1998 at Shorter, there was no difference in virus incidence based on mulch used. Although there were differences in virus incidence among varieties, the lowest incidence was 70% of plants infected for `Prelude II'. In addition to field evaluations, these varieties were evaluated for resistance to zucchini yellow mosaic virus under greenhouse conditions. Varieties HMX 7710, HMX 6704, Puma, Tigress, Prelude II, Jaguar, and Destiny III were significantly more resistant compared to varieties Zucchini Elite, Meigs, Supersett, and Dixie. In conclusion, reflective mulch was effective only under slight virus pressure.

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