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Juan C. Rodriguez, Nicole L. Shaw, and Daniel J. Cantliffe

Galia-type muskmelon (Cucumis melo cv. Gal-152) was grown as a fall and spring crop to determine the effect of plant density (1.7, 2.5, 3.3, and 4.1 plants/m2) on yield, fruit quality, plant growth, and economic feasibility for producing the crop in a greenhouse. Plant density had no influence on the early or total number of fruit produced per plant. Marketable yields increased linearly from 11.0 to 20.0 kg·m−2 in fall and from 21.9 to 48.3 kg·m−2 in spring with increasing plant density. Mean fruit size was unaffected by plant density during fall (mean weight, 1.0 kg), but was reduced linearly during spring from 1.8 kg at 1.7 plants/m2 to 1.5 kg at 4.1 plants/m2. Soluble solids content was unaffected by plant density in either fall or spring and averaged 10.1% in both seasons. Number of leaves per plant was unaffected by plant density, but internode length was increased at 4.1 plants/m2 compared with plants from the other densities. Increasing the plant density of ‘Gal-152’ muskmelon grown under protected cultivation led to increased yields in both fall and spring without negatively impacting fruit quality. When the market price is $1.44/kg, increased yields at 3.3 plants/m2 can potentially increase net returns over yields of plants spaced at 2.5 plants/m2 by 25% and nearly double net returns from plants grown at 1.7 plants/m2.

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Ahmad Shah Mohammadi, Elizabeth T. Maynard, Ricky E. Foster, Daniel S. Egel, and Kevin T. McNamara

Bacterial wilt of cucurbits, incited by Erwinia tracheiphila (E. F. Smith) and vectored by the striped cucumber beetle [Acalymma vittatum (F.)] (SCB), is a serious disease of muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.). Cultivars differ in attractiveness to SCB and susceptibility to bacterial wilt, but no cultivar resistant to bacterial wilt has been introduced. In 2015 and 2016, replicated field plots of eight cultivars were grown at Lafayette, Wanatah, and Vincennes, IN, to identify differences in attractiveness to SCB and susceptibility to bacterial wilt. ‘Savor’ had significantly more beetle activity than ‘Hales Best’, ‘Superstar’, and ‘Aphrodite’ in three of six site-years, and more than ‘Diplomat’, ‘Dream Dew’, ‘Athena’, and ‘Wrangler’ in two site-years. Beetle activity for ‘Athena’, ‘Superstar’, and ‘Wrangler’ did not differ significantly from ‘Aphrodite’ for any site-year. Bacterial wilt severity was significantly greater for ‘Diplomat’ and ‘Dream Dew’ than for other cultivars in four site-years. ‘Superstar’ had the least disease in five site-years, but significantly less than ‘Aphrodite’, ‘Athena’, and ‘Hales Best’ in only one site-year. At one site, additional plots of each cultivar were populated with five SCBs per plant, and rowcovers were applied to keep the SCBs near the plants for 3 weeks. This resulted in similar beetle activity on all cultivars, but most disease in ‘Dream Dew’ and least in ‘Superstar’ and ‘Athena’. Marketable yield was generally highest for ‘Aphrodite’, ‘Superstar’, and ‘Athena’ when plants were exposed to natural beetle populations. Overall, ‘Savor’ and ‘Diplomat’ were the most attractive to beetles, and ‘Diplomat’ and ‘Dream Dew’ were the most susceptible to bacterial wilt. ‘Aphrodite’, ‘Athena’, and ‘Superstar’ were less attractive to beetles and showed more tolerance to bacterial wilt in both 2015 and 2016.

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H.Y. Hanna

A study was conducted in Summer 1996 and 1997 to determine the residual effects of planting nematode-resistant vs. susceptible tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) cultivars and use of white vs. black polyethylene mulch on the growth and yield of a subsequent muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) crop. Tomato cultivars were planted in early April and harvested in June and early July. Muskmelons were planted in late July on the same beds. Muskmelons, planted after the nematode-resistant tomato cultivar Celebrity, produced significantly greater marketable yield and more fruit per hectare in both years than did muskmelons planted after the nematode-susceptible tomato cultivar Heatwave. Plant dry weight of muskmelons was greater and the percentage of their galled roots was smaller when planted after nematode-resistant tomatoes than when planted after nematode-susceptible ones. Mulching tomatoes with black or white polyethylene had no significant effect on growth, yield, and root galling of subsequent muskmelon crops.

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Prabin Tamang, Kaori Ando, William M. Wintermantel, and James D. McCreight

Melon ( Cucumis melo L.; 2 n = 2 x = 24) is an important horticultural crop worldwide and in the United States, with a total production of 872,080 t in 2018, amounting to 2.2% of the total world production ( FAOSTAT, 2020 ). Arizona and

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Longzhou Liu, Youyuan Chen, Zhenghong Su, Hui Zhang, and Weiming Zhu

. Sakata, Y. Kunihisa, M. Matsumoto, S. 2008 Identification of QTLs for resistance to powdery mildew and SSR markers diagnostic for powdery mildew resistance genes in melon ( Cucumis melo L.) Theor. Appl. Genet. 118 165 175 Krístková, E. Lebeda, A

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Ana Fita, Belén Picó, Rita C.S. Dias, and Fernando Nuez

Melon vine decline (MVD) results in severe economic losses in melon crops ( Cucumis melo L.) throughout the Mediterranean area and in the United States. MVD is a complex disease produced by many soilborne pathogens such as Monosporascus

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Gregory E. Welbaum, Zhen-Xing Shen, Jonathan I. Watkinson, Chun-Li Wang, and Jerzy Nowak

Priming commercial growing media and soils with dilute sugar solutions was investigated as a means of stimulating beneficial microflora to improve transplant productivity. Muskmelon (Cucumis melo) seedlings were grown in soilless growing medium primed with equal volumes of 50 mm sucrose or trehalose. After priming, the time when 50% of plants showed wilting symptoms was delayed 45 hours and the mean time that seedling xylem tension reached –1.0 MPa was delayed 70 hours compared with watered controls. Sucrose or trehalose priming improved water retention in the presence and absence of plants grown in sphagnum-based medium after an incubation period of ≈24 h, but no improvement occurred when autoclaved medium or acid-washed sand were primed. Light micrographs of primed medium revealed positive staining of opaque material between organic-matter particles with alcian blue, a polysaccharide-specific stain. Sixteen bacterial colonies were cultured in liquid medium from leachate of positive-stained, primed, growing-medium samples and identified via 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Identified colonies were Curtobacterium pussillum, Paenibacillus lautus, Brevundimonas, and 13 Bacillus spp., including well-characterized biofilm producers. Increased soil-moisture retention was the result of a complex, glucose-based, hydrophilic, polysaccharide polymer of bacterial origin that was produced in liquid culture from extracts of primed medium.

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Bielinski M. Santos, Camille E. Esmel, Silvia Slamova, and Elizabeth A. Golden

Three separate field trials were conducted to determine the most appropriate planting dates for intercropping cucumber (Cucumis sativus), summer squash (Cucurbita pepo), and muskmelon (Cucumis melo) with strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa), and their effect on ‘Strawberry Festival’ strawberry yields. ‘Straight Eight’ cucumber, ‘Crookneck’ summer squash, and ‘Athena’ muskmelon were planted every 15 days from 25 Jan. to 23 March. None of the three intercropped species affected strawberry yield up to 60 days before the end of the season on 25 March. Cucumber yield responded quadratically to planting dates, rapidly increasing from 25 Jan. to 23 Feb. and declining afterward. Warmer temperatures favored summer squash yield, with the highest yields when planted on 23 Feb. or later. Muskmelon yields decreased as air temperatures increased, and the best planting dates were between 25 Jan. and 9 Feb. In summary, cucumber and summer squash seemed to be favored by planting under warmer temperatures, whereas muskmelon thrives under cooler weather.

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Luis A. Ribera, Marco A. Palma, Mechel Paggi, Ronald Knutson, Joseph G. Masabni, and Juan Anciso

This study investigates the potential impact of food safety outbreaks on domestic shipments, imports, and prices of the produce industry. Moreover, the compliance costs associated with new food safety standards were also estimated. Three case studies were analyzed to assess these potential impacts: the muskmelon (Cucumis melo) outbreak of Mar.–Apr. 2008, the spinach (Spinacea oleracea) outbreak of Sept. 2006, and the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) outbreak of June–July 2008. The results demonstrate that the costs incurred by producers because of food safety outbreaks in produce are far greater than preventing such incidents.

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Kevin M. Crosby, John L. Jifon, and Daniel I. Leskovar

improved fruit quality, disease resistance, and productivity. Western shipper melon ( Cucumis melo L., Reticulatus Group) varieties are among some of the important Cucurbit crops grown in Texas for the summer fresh markets. Twelve muskmelon cultivars