Stuffing cucumber (Cyclanthera pedata var. edulis Schrad.) is native to the Americas, where it often occurs as an escape. The species is monoecious, with small flowers and large and deeply palmately lobed leaves. Fruits are puffy, partially hollow, and measure 5 × 15 cm long. The plant has soft spines, a tapered neck, and black seeds. The species has long been cultivated in Asia, where fruits are eaten raw as a substitute for cucumber or cooked (1). One plant showing intense mosaic, without leaf malformation, was found near a squash crop (Cucurbita moschata) in Anhembi County, State of São Paulo. Electron microscopic examination of a negatively stained sap preparation from leaves of this plant showed that it contained numerous flexuous rod-shaped particles, approximately 700 × 760 nm long, similar to those of potyviruses. Extracts from symptomatic leaves were rub-inoculated to zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo), Carica papaya, Chenopodium amaranticolor, C. quinoa, Gomphrena globosa, and Phaseolus vulgaris cv. Black Turtle 2. Only zucchini squash was infected and developed severe mosaic with intense leaf malformation. Extracts from field infected stuffing cucumber and experimentally inoculated zucchini squash were tested by plate-trapped antigen enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (PTA-ELISA) with antisera against the following potyviruses: Papaya ringspot virus-type W (PRSV-W), Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), and Watermelon mosaic virus-2 (WMV-2). Samples were also tested with antisera against a tospovirus (Zucchini lethal chlorosis virus) and a cucumovirus (Cucumber mosaic virus). Both samples were positive in PTA-ELISA only with PRSV-W antiserum. This is the first report of C. pedata var. edulis as a natural host for PRSV-W in Brazil.
References: (1) R. W. Robinson and D. S. Decker-Walters. 1997. Cucurbits. CAB International, UK.