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  • Author or Editor: Wilfredo Seda-Martínez x
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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