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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 11:52-53 (article 22) 1988

Resistance to Yellowing Disease in Wild Relatives of Muskmelon

J. Estava and F. Nuez

Departmento de Tiotecnolia. Universidad Politecnica, Valencia, Spain

J. Cuartero

Finca experimental "La Mayora", Algarrobo-Costa, Malaga, Spain

Cultivation of greenhouse muskmelon on the south east coast of Spain is being seriously affected by a yellowing disease which might be related to others described in Japan (6) and France (5). The disease noticed in Spain causes the leaves to turn yellow except in the veins, coming either from an interveinal chlorotic spotting or from a golden yellow basal stain. There is a closed relationship between the whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) West-Wood) and both the intensity and early appearance of the symptoms of the yellowing disease of muskmelon (2).

Adequate levels of resistance to the yellowing disease of muskmelon have not been found in Spanish land races. Although 'Nagata Kim Makuwa', PI 161375 and PI 15708 have shown some tolerance (3), all of them display systemic symptoms. Therefore the susceptibility to yellowing disease has been evaluated in four accessions of Cucumis ficifolius, three of C. anguria var. longipes, two of C. zeyheri and of C. myriocarpus and one accession of C. metuliferus, Citrullus colocynthis and Cucurbita martinezii under conditions of natural infection.

The test was made in the greenhouse under massive whitefly infestation. More than 1000 plants of cucumis melo were grown in the same greenhouse and all of them showed high levels of susceptibility. The Cucumis species evaluated have been reported as more susceptible than muskmelon to whitefly by Kowalewski (4).

Citrullus colocynthis, all of the accessions of cucumis anguria var. longipes and C. zeyheri and one accession of C. myriocarpus showed a high level of resistance to yellowing disease. Cucurbita martinezii,, three accessions of Cucumis ficifolius and one accession of C. myriocarpus were highly susceptible, and the first symptoms appeared early. Cucumis metuliferus and one accession of C. ficifolius displayed the first symptoms of the disease later (Table 1).

Several plants of two accessions of Cucumis ficifolius behaved as resistant to yellowing disease and they were more vigorous than the other plants of those accessions. Their fruits did not fully develop and had very few seeds. There were indications that these plants may have been the F1 progeny of cucumis ficifolius x C. Anguria var. longipes. This fact could indicate that a dominant inheritance pattern confers resistance to yellowing disease in Cucumis anguria var .longipes.

If the observed resistances are confirmed, two ways for gene exchange between these resistant species and cucumis melo can be used: protoplast fusion or by using both cucumis africanus and C. metuliferus like a genetic bridge. In fact, Cucumis anguria var. longipes, C. zeyheri, C. myriocarpus and C. africanus have been reported to cross among themselves. All of them are incompatible with Cucumis melo but C. metuliferus can be crossed with both C. melo and C. africanus (1), although the crosses are quite difficult to make. We are studying the feasibility of this way.

Table 1. susceptibility to yellowing disease and days elapsed between sowing and first symptoms.

Species
Accession
Susceptibility or resistance
Days between sowing and first symptoms
Cucumis metuliferus
susceptible
120
C. myriocarpus
A-1
susceptible
53
C. anguria var. longipes
A-2
resistant
-
 
A-1
resistant
-
A-2
resistant
-
C. zeyheri
A-3
resistant
-
 
A-1
resistant
-
C. ficifolius
A-2
susceptible
10
 
A-1
susceptible
53
A-2
susceptible
65
A-3
susceptible
53
Cucurbita martinezii
A-4
susceptible
53
Citrullus colocynthis
resistant
-

Literature Cited

  1. Esquinas-Alcazar, J.T. and P.J. Gulick. 1983. Genetic Resources of Cucurbitaceae. AGPR:IBPGR/83/48 December: 20.
  2. Esteva, J., F. Nuez and J. Cuartero. 1987. Influencia de la mosca blanca (Trialeurodes vaporariorumi West-Wood) en la aparicion y desarrollo del amarilleamiento en melon. VI Jornadas de Seleccion y Mejora de Plantas Horticolas,. 2-4 de junio:155-159. Murcia, Spain.
  3. Esteva, J. F. Nuez and J. Cuartero. 1987. Yellowing disease: a serious problem in greenhouse melon cultivation on the south east of Spain. 7th Congr. Medite. Phytopath. Union: 144. Granada, Spain.
  4. Kowalewski, E. and R.W. Robinson. 1978. Whitefly resistance in Cucumis species.Cucurbit Genet. Coop. Rpt. 1:38.
  5. Lot, H., B. Delecole and Lecoq. 1982. A whitefly transmitted virus causing muskmelon yellows in France. Acta Horticulturae 127:182.
  6. Yamashita, S., Y. Doi, K. Yora and M. Yoshno. 1979. Cucumber yellows virus: its transmission by the greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood), and the yellow diseases of cucumber and muskmelon caused by the virus. Annals Phytopatho. Soci. Japan 45:484-496.
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Page citation: Wehner, T.C., Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative;
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