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greenhouse and field tests, H.Y. Liu for the squash leaf curl virus isolate and assistance in ELISA tests, B.E. Mackey for statistical assistance, and H.M. Munger and T.W. Whitaker for helpful suggestions. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in

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Extractable activities of α-amylase, β-amylase, and starch phosphorylase were investigated in order to understand the mechanism of starch degradation in buttercup squash (Cucurbita maxima Duchesne ex Lam. `Delica') with the ultimate goal of improving the conversion of starch into sweet sugars. During rapid starch synthesis (0 to 30 days after flowering), extractable activities of α-amylase and β-amylase were low, but those of starch phosphorylase increased. After harvest, during ripening at 12 °C, or in fruit left in the field, activities of α-amylase and β-amylase increased. Starch contained 20% to 25% amylose soon after starch synthesis was initiated and until 49 days after harvest irrespective of whether the crop remained in the field or in storage at 12 °C. Maltose concentrations were low prior to harvest, but levels increased during fruit ripening. Data suggest starch breakdown is hydrolytic in buttercup squash, with α-amylase being the primary enzyme responsible for initiating starch breakdown.

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An irrigation scheduling model for summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) was developed and validated during 1986, 1987, and 1989. The model is represented by the equation: 12.7(i - 4) × 0.5ASW = Di-1 + [E(0.14 + 0.015) - P - I]i, where crop age in days is i; effective root depth is 12.7(i - 4) with a maximum of 381 mm; usable water (cubic millimeter per cubic millimeter of soil) is 0.5ASW, deficit on the previous day is Di-1; evapotranspiration is pan evaporation (E) times 0.14 + 0.015i; rainfall (in millimeters) is P; and irrigation (in millimeters) is I. The model was validated during the three years using a line-source irrigation system with irrigation depths ranging from 5% to 160% of the model rates. Nitrogen rates were 50%, 100%, and 150% of the recommended rate. Marketable fruit yields increased as the irrigation depths increased up to the model rate then decreased with greater water application depths. Marketable fruit yields increased as the N rate increased in 1987 and 1989, but yields were similar at all N rates in 1986. The shelf life of marketable fruits was not influenced by irrigation or N rates.

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2004 ). Fruit rot threatens cucurbit crops annually, including Cucurbita species such as C. maxima , C. moschata , and C. pepo (squash and pumpkin), in Michigan, which is a state that is an important producer of these species ( Gevens et al. 2007

Open Access

Cucurbita maxima Duch. is one of the most morphologically variable cultivated species. The Center for Conservation and Breeding of the Agricultural Diversity (COMAV) holds a diverse germplasm collection of the Cucurbita genus, with more than 300 landraces of this species. Morphological and molecular characterization are needed to facilitate farmer and breeder use of this collection. With this aim, the morphological variation of a collection of 120 C. maxima accessions was evaluated. The majority of these accessions originated from Spain, which has acted as a bridge since the 16th century for spreading squash morphotypes between the Americas and Europe. South American landraces (the center of origin of this species) were also included. Eight morphological types were established based on this characterization and previous intraspecific classifications. A subset of these accessions, selected from these classification and passport data, was employed for molecular characterization. Two marker types were used; sequence related amplified polymorphism (SRAP), which preferentially amplifies open reading frames (ORF), and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). In the main, SRAP marker analysis grouped accessions in accordance to their type of use (agronomic traits) and AFLP marker analysis grouped accessions as to their geographical origin. AFLP marker analysis detected a greater genetic variability among American than among Spanish accessions. This is likely due to a genetic bottleneck that may have occurred during the introduction of squash into Europe. The disparity of the results obtained with the two markers may be related to the different genome coverage which is characteristic of each particular marker type and/or to its efficiency in sampling variation in a population.

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Abstract

Double-cropping systems were compared to the same vegetable monocropped. Snap beans [Phaseolus vulgaris (L.) ‘Bush Blue Lake’], sweet corn [Zea mays (L.) ‘Sundance’], cauliflower [Brassica oleracea (L.), Botrytis group, ‘Snow Crown’], summer squash [Cucurbita pepo (L.) ‘Zucchini Elite’], and broccoli [Brassica oleracea (L.), Italica group, ‘Green Comet’] were used. The double-crop systems used were spring snap bean and fall cauliflower, summer squash and fall broccoli, and spring sweet corn and fall snap beans. The monocrop system was used as a control for the double-crop systems. The greatest net returns were: 1) squash monocropped or squash/broccoli double-cropped, 2) squash double-cropped, 3) cauliflower or cauliflower/snap bean double-cropped, and 4) broccoli or cauliflower or snap beans monocropped. Fall snap beans provided the least economic return. The double-cropping system allows an option of crop production with a potential increase in yield and economic returns using half the amount of land per year required for either crop grown in monoculture. In addition, these systems reduce the risk of economic failure during a year of low-market demand for either crop grown alone.

Open Access

Abstract

Squash (Cucurbita pepo), cucumber (Cucumis sativus), muskmelon (Cucumis melo) and corn (Zea mays.) plants were grown in sand culture with B as the variable. The plants were harvested when they showed a definite gradation of B toxicity symptoms from severe to none. Mature blades were analyzed for total B.

A significant decrease in top growth took place in corn and cucumber for culture solutions with B concentrations greater than 2 ppm; in squash and muskmelon, greater than 4 ppm. A 50% decrease in top growth took place in solutions with 6, 12, 12 and 16 ppm of B for cucumber, squash, muskmelon and corn, respectively, with cucumber the most sensitive and corn the least sensitive to B supply. The critical concentrations for B toxicity in mature blades at the onset of decreased top growth are 100, 400, 800 and 1,000 ppm, dry basis, for corn, cucumber, muskmelon and squash, respectively.

Open Access

Abstract

In field tests, the most effective film mulch in deterring insects and reducing insect damage to fruits was aluminum. The insects affected were aphids, brown stink bugs, aphid parasites, and Diabrotica spp. Mosaic virus diseases were reduced among aluminum-mulched squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants. Plant growth, flowering, and fruiting were delayed in tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) and southernpeas (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.).

Open Access

Abstract

Zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo L. cv. Romanesco) were stored 19 days at 5°C in 21% ± 1% O2 plus 0.0%, 2.5%, 5.0%, or 10.0% CO2 and then stored an additional 4 days at 13° in air. High CO2 levels inhibited the rate of CO2 production and reduced the development of chilling injury symptoms at all three maturities (16, 20, and 22 cm fruit). There was a high negative correlation between CO2 levels and reduction of chilling injury. At the end of the 23-day storage period, 82% of the 22-cm squash held in 10% CO2 appeared salable, but they had a slight off-flavor and were soft; 79% of the fruit held in 5% CO2 were salable, firm, and free of off-flavors; samples from 2.5% CO2 and air were unacceptable because of decay and pitting. The percentage of unsalable fruit increased from 16- to 20-cm squash. Carbon dioxide concentrations around 5% may be useful for storing zucchini squash at about 5°, a temperature that normally causes chilling injury in zucchini.

Open Access

Abstract

Data from a cross between ‘Table King’, B +/B +, bearing green fruits, and ‘Precocious Small Sugar’, B/B, bearing yellow fruits, revealed the existence of 2 independent modifier genes, designated Ep-1 and Ep-2, each of which can extend the boundaries of precocious fruit pigmentation conditioned by gene B. The effect of these modifiers of B is cumulative, but the dosage of B plays an important role in controlling the extent of precocious pigmentation. Some commercial hybrids are B/+ and these tend to produce bicolor fruits, an undesirable feature in squash. The present findings suggest that B/+ hybrids can produce yellow fruits exclusively, provided they carry 2 or more Ep genes.

Open Access