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  • Author or Editor: Jose Carlos V. Rodrigues x
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One of the most important members of the Potyviridae is Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV). It affects watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] as well as other cucurbits in most parts of the world. Although several genotypes have been reported as having resistance to ZYMV, differential responses to ZYMV strains are known to occur. Using a Puerto Rico strain of ZYMV (ZYMV-PR, GenBank accession number MN422959), we tested the response of 11 genotypes [PIs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Genetic Resources Program] previously reported as having resistance to this virus. In two greenhouse trials, the first three leaves of seedlings of each genotype were mechanically inoculated with ZYMV-PR. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was done on each seedling’s fourth leaf and symptom severity was rated on the first, third, fifth, and seventh leaves. There were significant genotype × trial interactions for most variables, but some genotypes performed consistently in both trials. All seedlings of PI 537277 tested negative for ELISA (absorbance < 0.200) across both trials. PI 537277, PI 595200, PI 595201, and PI 595203 were generally among the accessions with the lowest symptom severity scores. Overall, symptom severity correlated poorly with ELISA readings. But all plants of PI 537277, and most plants of PI 595201 and PI 595203, had low ELISA readings and low severity scores. Despite having low severity scores, PI 595200 was among the genotypes with the highest ELISA readings in trial 2. For the plant breeder, the most useful genotypes are those that exhibit reduced severity as well as low ELISA. PI 537277, PI 595201, and PI 595203 met those criteria in this study. Of these three accessions, PI 595203 would be the most useful in a breeding program because it has shown resistance to the Puerto Rico, Florida, and China strains of ZYMV.

Open Access

Infecting cucurbits around the world, Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) and Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) are members of the genus Potyvirus and family Potyviridae. Tropical pumpkin is grown globally in the lowland humid tropics. In Puerto Rico, tropical pumpkin is the second most important vegetable crop in economic value. In trials in Puerto Rico in 2016 and 2017, susceptible genotypes ‘Waltham’, Mos166, ‘Taína Dorada’ (2016 only), ‘Soler’ with moderate resistance to ZYMV, and resistant ‘Menina’ and ‘Nigerian Local’ were inoculated with PRSV and ZYMV and evaluated in the greenhouse and field. Mock-inoculated (buffer) controls were included. Puerto Rico strains of PRSV and ZYMV were originally collected from plants of Cucurbita moschata in Puerto Rico. Presence of virus was determined by Double Antibody Sandwich (DAS) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and symptom severity was evaluated on a 0 to 5 scale in both trials. Days to anthesis of first staminate and pistillate flower were recorded for each plot. Number of fruits, fruit weight per plant, average fruit weight, fruit and mesocarp diameter, mesocarp color, °Brix, and percentage dry matter were measured in 2017. ‘Waltham’, Mos166, ‘Taína Dorada’, and ‘Soler’ tested positive for PRSV when inoculated with PRSV and positive for ZYMV when inoculated with ZYMV. For both PRSV and ZYMV, symptom severity was less (severity = 0) in resistant genotypes ‘Menina’ and ‘Nigerian Local’ than in all other genotypes. ‘Soler’ inoculated with ZYMV exhibited less symptom severity than that of susceptible genotypes. The degree of symptom severity of ‘Soler’ inoculated with PRSV was similar to susceptible genotypes. Symptom severity in plants inoculated with ZYMV was generally greater than when inoculated with PRSV. Compared with controls, yield per plant was unaffected by inoculation with potyvirus in resistant cultivar ‘Menina’. Unexpectedly, yield in resistant ‘Nigerian Local’ was reduced an average of 45% over control plots. Yield loss was 100% in inoculated plots of susceptible ‘Waltham’. Yield reduction ranged from 35% to 80% for susceptible Mos166 and moderately resistant ‘Soler’. There was little evidence that days to anthesis, average fruit weight, fruit diameter, and fruit quality (mesocarp thickness, chroma, hue angle, °Brix and dry matter) of plants inoculated with virus were different from that of uninoculated control plants. The exception was moderately resistant ‘Soler’ where plants inoculated with ZYMV produced fruits with a 32% reduction in average weight, as well as reductions in diameter, mesocarp thickness, and color saturation (chroma) compared with controls. This was unexpected given that ‘Soler’ has some resistance to ZYMV. Greenhouse evaluations by ELISA or symptom severity were generally useful in predicting field resistance to PRSV and ZYMV. In summary, yield reductions of up to 100% can be expected in C. moschata genotypes susceptible to PRSV or ZYMV, but fruit quality traits are usually unaffected. Moderate resistance to ZYMV in ‘Soler’ was observed to reduced symptom severity but not negative effects on yield and other traits. ‘Soler’ was not resistant to PRSV. ‘Menina’ rather than ‘Nigerian Local’ appears to be the best source of resistance because yield of the former was not impacted by inoculation with either potyvirus.

Open Access