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R.W. Robinson and Stephen Reiners

Summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) cultivars were compared for ability to set parthenocarpic fruit. Some cultivars set no parthenocarpic fruit and others varied in the amount of fruit set when not pollinated. The degree of parthenocarpy varied with season, but the relative ranking of cultivars for parthenocarpy was generally similar. Cultivars with the best parthenocarpic fruit set were of the dark green, zucchini type, but some cultivars of other fruit types also set parthenocarpic fruit. A summer squash cultivar was developed that combines a high rate of natural parthenocarpy with multiple disease resistance. Yield of summer squash plants grown under row covers that excluded pollinating insects was as much as 83% of that of insect-pollinated plants in the open.

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Kristen Young and Eileen A. Kabelka

SSL disorder within summer squash, designated Zuc76, was developed at the University of Florida. The objective of this project was to characterize the inheritance of resistance to SSL disorder within this summer squash breeding line. Materials and

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Harry S. Paris and Aviva Hanan

Summer squash plants are monoecious, producing staminate and pistillate flowers. The flowers are borne at the stem nodes, more precisely at the leaf axils, the junctions of the stem with the bases of the leaf petioles. Staminate flowers

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Qiubin Xiao and J. Brent Loy

. However, botanically, the term spine is correctly applied to woody outgrowths of stems representing modified plant organs ( Featherly, 1954 ). In summer squash ( Cucurbita pepo ), trichomes are an undesirable anatomic trait because they can cause extensive

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Amanda Skidmore, Neil Wilson, Mark Williams and Ric Bessin

those of conventional tillage systems for summer squash ( NeSmith et al., 1994 ; Tillman et al., 2015a ), but it can be challenging for muskmelon production ( Skidmore et al., 2017 ; Tillman et al., 2015b ) because fruit in direct contact with soil is

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Michael D. Meyer and Mary K. Hausbeck

Phytophthora capsici Leonian is an economically important soilborne pathogen of summer squash ( Cucurbita pepo L.) and other vegetable crops in many areas of the world ( Babadoost, 2004 , 2005 ; Babadoost and Zitter, 2009 ; Hausbeck and Lamour

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Jennifer Tillman, Ajay Nair, Mark Gleason and Jean Batzer

plastic mulch can increase yields of cucumber ( Ibarra-Jiménez et al., 2004 ), muskmelon ( Ibarra et al., 2001 ), and summer squash ( Mahadeen, 2014 ). However, there are concerns about environmental sustainability due to the generation of plastic waste

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Harry S. Paris

Summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) is grown in many temperate and subtropical regions, ranking high in economic importance among vegetable crops worldwide. A native of North America, summer squash has been grown in Europe since the Renaissance. There are six extant horticultural groups of summer squash: cocozelle, crookneck, scallop, straightneck, vegetable marrow, and zucchini. Most of these groups have existed for hundreds of years. Their differing fruit shapes result in their differential adaptations to various methods of culinary preparation. Differences in flavor, while often subtle, are readily apparent in some instances. The groups differ in geographical distribution and economic importance. The zucchini group, a relatively recent development, has undergone intensive breeding in the United States and Europe and is probably by far the most widely grown and economically important of the summer squash.

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Richard W. Robinson and Stephen Reiners

Low temperatures typical of early season production promote female sex expression and reduce male flower formation in summer squash. In addition, some summer squash cultivars do not produce sufficient male flowers for good fruit set early in the season in New York. Parthenocarpic fruit set could increase early season yield as well as at times when bee activity is restricted by wet weather or by row covers. More than 30 Cucurbita pepo cultivars and breeding lines were evaluated for their ability to produce parthenocarpic fruit over the past 3 years. Pistillate flowers were closed before anthesis to prevent pollination. In 1992, 66% of all the entries set parthenocarpic fruit where as 40% displayed the same pattern in 1993 and 81% in 1994. Varieties with the best parthenocarpic fruit set included Black Beauty, Black Magic, Black Jack, and Chefini Hybrid, all zucchini types. Most yellow-fruited cultivars had poor fruit set but the precocious yellow cultivar Gold Rush had good parthenocarpic fruit set in 1992 and 1993. In 1994, floating row covers placed over the plants 1 week after planting confirmed the results of the previous two seasons. This indicates that certain varieties of summer squash consistently set parthenocarpic fruit. These varieties may be most useful for early season production or for production under plastic tunnels or row covers where pollinator activity is restricted. In addition, our results indicate that it is possible to breed parthenocarpic squash of different fruit colors and types.

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D.S. NeSmith, G. Hoogenboom and D.V. McCracken

Three summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) cultivars were grown using conventional tillage and no-till soil management practices during 1991 and 1992 in the mountain regions of Georgia. Soil bulk density and N content as well as crop dry weight, leaf area, and yield were monitored to assess the potential for using conservation tillage in squash production. Soil bulk density of the surface (0 to 10 cm) layer under no-till exceeded. that under conventional tillage at planting by 0.25 Mg·m-3, and 1 month after planting by as much as 0.16 Mg·m-3. However, growth-limiting bulk densities (>1.45 Mg·m-3) did not occur. Total soil N to a 30-cm depth was similar for the two tillage regimes. There were no significant cultivar × tillage interaction effects on plant dry weight, leaf area, or crop yield. Total yields were similar for the two tillage regimes; however, early yield during 1991 was 27% less using no-till. There is potential for the use of conservation tillage in summer squash production in the southeastern United States. However, the current lack of registered herbicides for weed control and possible early market price incentives are likely disadvantages to widespread acceptance of such cultural practices.