Yield and Virus Resistance of Summer Squash Cultivars and Breeding Lines in North Carolina

in HortTechnology

Yellow and zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) cultigens (breeding lines and cultivars) were evaluated over a 2-year (1995 and 1996) period in North Carolina. Yellow squash cultigens that performed well (based on total marketable yields) were `Destiny III', `Freedom III', `Multipik', XPHT 1815, and `Liberator III' in Fall 1995 and HMX 4716, `Superpik', PSX 391, `Monet', `Dixie', XPH 1780, and `Picasso' in Spring 1996. Some of the yellow squash cultigens evaluated had superior viral resistance: XPHT 1815, XPHT 1817, `Freedom III', `Destiny III', `Freedom II', TW 941121, `Prelude II', and `Liberator III' in Fall 1995 and XPHT 1815, `Liberator III', `Prelude II', and `Destiny III' in Fall 1996; all these cultigens were transgenic. The yellow squash cultigens that performed well (based on total marketable yields) in the Fall 1995 test had transgenic virus resistance (`Destiny III', `Freedom III', XPHT 1815, and `Liberator III') or had the Py gene present in its genetic background (`Multipik'). Based on total marketable yields, the best zucchini cultigens were XPHT 1800, `Tigress', XPHT 1814, `Dividend' (ZS 19), `Elite', and `Noblesse' in Fall 1995; and `Leonardo', `Tigress', `Hurricane', `Elite', and `Noblesse' in Spring 1996. The zucchini cultigens with virus resistance were TW 940966, XPHT 1814, and XPHT 1800 in Fall 1995 and XPHT 1800, XPHT 1776, XPHT 1777, XPHT 1814, and XPHT 1784 in Fall 1996. Even though TW 940966 had a high level of resistance in the Fall 1995 test, it was not as high yielding as some of the more susceptible lines. Viruses detected in the field were papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) and watermelon mosaic virus (WMV) for Fall 1995; while PRSV, zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), and WMV were detected for Fall 1996. Summer squash cultigens transgenic for WMV and ZYMV have potential to improve yield, especially during the fall when viruses are more prevalent. Most transgenic cultigens do not possess resistance to PRSV, except XPHT 1815 and XPHT 1817. Papaya ringspot virus was present in the squash tests during the fall of both years. Thus, PRSV resistance must be transferred to the transgenic cultigens before summer squash can be grown during the fall season without the risk of yield loss due to viruses.

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