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Paul B. Francis and C. Robert Stark, Jr.

incidence was reduced by using composted cotton gin trash, swine manure, and rye-vetch green manure compared with bare soil and incorporated synthetic fertilizers ( Bulluck and Ristaino, 2002 ). Several disease control products used in organic production

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Brent Rowell, William Nesmith, and John C. Snyder

Virus and fungal disease pressures limit fall production of summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) in Kentucky. Twenty-five summer squash cultivars (nine zucchini, eight yellow straightneck, and eight yellow crookneck entries) were evaluated for marketable yield, appearance, and disease resistance in a late summer planting. Genetically engineered virus-resistant materials and new conventionally bred resistant or tolerant cultivars were compared with popular susceptible hybrids. Virus incidence was determined visually before and after final harvest and was also determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV) was most frequently detected and appeared to have caused most of the observed symptoms. Conventionally bred cultivars containing the precocious yellow gene and two transgenic lines were in the highest yielding group of yellow straightneck squash despite high virus incidence in precocious yellow cultivars. Among yellow crooknecks, transgenic cultivars were clearly superior for disease resistance and yields. Conventionally bred cultivars with virus tolerance were among the highest yielding zucchini types. Most transgenics were superior to their nontransformed equivalent cultivars for virus resistance and yield. Cultivars and breeding lines varied considerably in color, shape, and overall appearance. ELISA results revealed that some (but not all) transgenic cultivars tested positive for the coat protein corresponding to the virus resistance present in that cultivar. Also, mild virus-like symptoms were observed in transgenic squash plants after the conclusion of harvest.

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George H. Clough and Philip B. Hamm

Three transgenic yellow crookneck squash (Cucurbita pepo var. melopepo) and five transgenic cantaloupe (Cucumis melo, Reticulatus group) lines were field-tested in 1993 and 1994, respectively, for resistance to Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus and Watermelon Mosaic Virus II. During both years, non-transgenic plants were inoculated with virus before transplanting to provide a high virus threat to the transgenic plants. Before and after transplanting, serological (ELISA) testing was used to obtain baseline information on transformed plants and to confirm field virus infection. In both years, plant disease development was rated weekly; yield was assessed during 1993. Disease progression, yield, and end-of-season ELISA indicated a significant reduction in frequency of disease incidence in the transgenic lines. Total squash yields did not differ between the transformed and unchanged lines, but the transgenic lines yielded more marketable fruit than the non-transgenic line.

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S. Alan Walters

, David Voegtlin of the Illinois Natural History Survey for aphid identification, and Houston Hobbs of the University of Illinois-Dept. of Crop Sciences for virus determination. The use of trade names in this publication does not imply endorsement of the

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Charlie G. Summers, Jeffrey P. Mitchell*, and James J. Stapleton

Trials were conducted in 2002 and 2003 in California's San Joaquin Valley to determine the efficiency of reflective plastic and wheat straw in managing silverleaf whitefly and aphid-borne virus diseases in late planted cantaloupes. In 2002, the incidence of aphid-borne viruses was lowest in plants growing over reflective plastic followed by those growing over wheat straw and then those growing over bare soil. Wheat straw mulch was as effective as reflective plastic during the early part of the growing season in reducing the incidence of virus disease, but by mid-season, the reflective plastic was superior. The incidence of virus diseases in plants growing over wheat straw was significantly (P < 0.05) lower than that in plants growing over bare soil throughout the season. Whitefly numbers (nymphs per cm2) and aphid numbers were significantly reduced on plants growing over both reflective mulch and wheat straw mulch compared to those growing over bare soil. Yields of all sizes of melons were significantly higher in the reflective mulch plots and yield for the straw mulched and bare soil plots were not significantly different. Results in 2003 were similar to those of 2002. Both whitefly numbers and aphid numbers were significantly lower in plants growing over both mulches than in those growing over bare soil. Virus incidence was initially low but following an aphid flight in late August, the number of infected plants increased rapidly. Both the reflective plastic and straw provided equal protection form aphid-borne viruses throughout the growing season. Yields were highest in the reflective plastic plots, followed by the straw mulch and finally the bare soil. Differences were significant (P < 0.05) among all three treatments.

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J.F. Hancock, P.W. Callow, S.L. Krebs, D.C. Ramsdell, J.R. Ballington, M.J. Lareau, J.J. Luby, G.P. Pavlis, M.P. Pritts, J.M. Smagula, and N. Vorsa

Flower bud and leaf samples collected from a wide range of native North American Vaccinium populations were tested for the presence of blueberry shoestring virus (BBSSV) using the enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay. The highest disease incidence was found in Michigan (14%), although a few positive samples also were found in Virginia, New Jersey, Maine, Ontario, and Quebec. Of seven species tested, only V. corymbosum L. and V. angustifolium Ait. were infected with BBSSV.

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H.R. Pappu, S.D. Wyatt, and K.L. Druffel

Dahlia is an important ornamental crop in the U.S. The economic value of the crop is often affected by viral diseases. Of several viruses that infect dahlia, dahlia mosaic virus (DMV) is of most concern. However, little or no information is available about its distribution. A survey of dahlias in several states in the U.S. was carried out during 2003 and 2004. Samples from CA, GA, MD, ME, MT, NM, PA, OR, and WA were tested for DMV. To develop a molecular detection assay, the viral genome was cloned and sequenced and based on the sequence information, DMV-specific primers were used in a PCR-based assay. DMV was detected in >90% of the samples tested. Based on the detection of DMV, a wide range of symptoms were found to be associated with DMV infection. A real-time PCR assay was adapted for rapid detection of DMV. Considering its widespread occurrence, steps are needed to limit its further spread. An effective intervention program would include use of virus-free material to minimize its impact. Availability of a rapid and sensitive detection method such as the once described should facilitate not only production of virus-free dahlias but elimination of virus infected material from breeding and propagating stocks. This is the first report of a survey to determine the extent of DMV incidence in dahlias.

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Charles A. Powell, Peter J. Stoffella, and Harry S. Paris

Zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) fruit yield and the incidence of sweetpotato whitefly (SPWF) [Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius)], squash silver leaf (SSL) disorder, and zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) were measured during Spring and Fall 1991 in experiments containing various plant populations. In both experiments, as the within-row spacing increased from 30.5 to 76.2 cm or the number of plants per hill decreased from three to one, the number of marketable fruit per hectare decreased, and the marketable fruit per plant increased. Adult SPWF populations increased with decreased within-row spacing in the spring but not the fall experiment. The incidence of SSL or ZYMV infection was not affected by plant population in either experiment. The results indicate that increasing zucchini squash plant population can increase yield without affecting the incidence of SSL or ZYMV.

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M.K. Ehlenfeldt, A.W. Stretch, and A.D. Drape

A group of 1031 genotypes representing 245 different crosses from a joint U.S. Dept. of Agriculture-New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station blueberry breeding program was evaluated for blueberry red ringspot virus (BBRRSV) symptoms after 8 years of field exposure. Among 41 parents represented by 10 or more progeny, significant differences were observed in offspring BBRRSV expression. The species Vaccinium lamarckii Camp. (4x) and V. amoenum Ait. (6x) and the cultivars Woodard (6x) and Earliblue (4x) seem to have high frequencies of alleles for BBRRSV resistance. Significant differences were also found among 21 different crosses. The most resistant cross was `Elizabeth' x `Earliblue', which had a 23% BBRRSV incidence. Progeny evaluation revealed that none of the parents involved produced families in which all plants were resistant; hence, resistance to this virus may be under polygenic control.

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Michael S. Stanghellini, Jonathan R. Schultheis, and Gerald J. Holmes

In 1998 and 1999, a total of 27 large-fruited and 15 miniature-fruited pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) cultivars were evaluated for adaptation to eastern North Carolina grow- ing conditions. Test categories were yield (fruit number and weight); fruit characteristics (shape, rind and stem attributes); and susceptibility to edema (wart-like growths on fruit exterior), foliar diseases, preharvest and postharvest fruit decay, and viruses. Yields of large pumpkins ranged from over 3,200 fruit/acre (7,907 fruit/ha) for `SVT 4613367', `Autumn Gold', and `Gold Standard' to less than 1,000 fruit/acre (2,471 fruit/ha) for `Gold Rush' and `Progold 200'. For miniature pumpkins, over 33,000 fruit/acre (81,542 fruit/ha) were produced by `Touch of Autumn', `Lil' Pump- ke-mon', and `HMX 5682', whereas `Mystic' and `Progold 100' produced less than 7,000 fruit/acre (17,297 fruit/ha). `Gold Rush', `Howden', and `Progold 510' (large), and `EXT 4612297', `Lil' Goblin', and `Lil' Ironsides' (miniature) appeared the most susceptible to foliar diseases. Preharvest fruit decay ranged from 0% for `Howden' and `EXT 4612297' to over 20% for `Lil' Goblin', `Jumping Jack', `Peek-A-Boo', and `Tom Fox'. Virus incidence on fruit and foliage was low on virus-resistant cultivars ('SVT 4613367' and `EXT 4612297'), and ranged from 4% to 74% for nontransgenic cultivars. Virus incidence and/or severity on foliage and fruit were not related. `Early Autumn' (large) and `Touch of Autumn' (miniature) were the most prone to edema. `Aspen' and `Magic Lantern' (large) and `Baby Pam', `Lil' Goblin', and `Spooktacular' (miniature) were the most susceptible to postharvest fruit decay. Fruit characteristics are discussed in relation to marketability and possible consumer appeal to pumpkins.