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  • Author or Editor: Charles S. Krasnow x
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Boris Timofeevich Matienko (1929–2004) was a respected plant anatomist and physiologist in Soviet Moldova. Matienko’s research was primarily on the growth, development, and senescence of cucurbits, as well as apples, plums, and other vegetable crops. His studies provided a wealth of information to those interested in the anatomic structure of pumpkins, squash, gourds, watermelon, and minor Cucurbitaceae. Using insightful and detailed descriptions, he depicted cellular changes of the fruit during development, aging, and senescence. Practical experiments on storage corroborated his detailed microscope studies. Matienko worked during a time when the problems of the agriculture sector in Moldova were immense and varied, and he faced structural and societal challenges that underscore his scientific accomplishments. The quality of cucurbits grown in Moldova and the region improved as a result of this research. He was widely respected by colleagues and the scientific community, and his work continues to provide insight to researchers of these important crops.

Open Access

Phytophthora capsici annually threatens production of cucurbit and solanaceous crops. Long-lived oospores produced by the pathogen incite primary infection of susceptible plants when conditions are wet. Limiting the rot of winter squash and pumpkin (Cucurbita sp.) fruits is difficult due to the long maturation period when fruits are often in direct contact with infested soil. Genetic resistance to fruit rot is not widely available within Cucurbita sp.; however, age-related resistance (ARR) to P. capsici fruit rot develops in specific cultivars during maturation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the fruits of 12 cultivars of Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita moschata, and Cucurbita maxima for ARR to P. capsici using a mycelial-plug inoculation method. All Cucurbita pepo and Cucurbita moschata cultivars displayed ARR; 7 days postpollination (dpp) fruits were susceptible, limited lesion development occurred on fruits 22 dpp, and lesions did not develop at 56 dpp. Disease developed on both Cucurbita maxima cultivars tested at 7, 14, 22, and 56 dpp. Firmness of fruit exocarps was measured with a manual penetrometer. Exocarp firmness of all cultivars increased during maturation; however, there was no correlation between firmness and disease incidence among cultivars at 22 dpp (R 2 = −0.01, P = 0.85). When fruits of cultivars expressing ARR at 22 dpp were wounded before inoculation, fruit rot developed.

Free access

Phytophthora blight is a destructive disease of cucurbits affecting the fruit, leaves, crown, and/or roots. Ten cucurbit PIs with known partial resistance to Phytophthora capsici root and crown rot were evaluated for resistance to Phytophthora fruit rot. Unwounded fruit from field-grown plants of Cucurbita moschata and C. pepo were inoculated in a controlled environment at 7 to 10 or 21 to 24 days post-pollination (dpp) with virulent P. capsici isolates to examine the effect of fruit age on disease development. Inoculated fruit were rated for lesion area and pathogen mycelial growth 7 days post-inoculation (dpi); fruit length, diameter, and pericarp thickness were also rated. Two C. pepo accessions (PI 169417 and PI 181761) had significant resistance to Phytophthora fruit rot at both 7 to 10 dpp and 21 to 24 dpp. All accessions evaluated displayed reduced disease susceptibility as the fruit aged.

Free access