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Disease Control and Pest Management

Protecting Muskmelons Against Aphid-Borne Viruses. H. H. Toba, Research Entomologist, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Yakima, WA 98902; A. N. Kishaba(2), G. W. Bohn(3), and H. Hield(4). (2)Research Entomologist, ARS, USDA, Boyden Entomology Laboratory, University of California, Riverside, CA 92502; (3)Research Genetist, ARS, USDA, Imperial Valley Conservation Research Center, Brawley, CA 92227; (4)Research Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92502. Phytopathology 67:1418-1423. Accepted for publication 5 May 1977. Copyright 1977 The American Phytopathological Society, 3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121. All rights reserved.. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-67-1418.

Field tests conducted in Southern California demonstrated that a protection crop of wheat, Triticum aestivum, significantly delayed frequency and decreased severity of chlorotic mottle, distortion, and stunting attributed to nonpersistent viruses transmitted by aphids (mostly green peach aphids, Myzus persicae) in cantaloupe, Cucumis melo. It improved fruit appearance and soluble solids. However, cantaloupe growth was delayed by the wheat. Weekly applications of miscible oil delayed mottle symptoms and reduced their frequency to about 50% of that in the check plot near harvest; total yield was comparable to and included fewer sunburned culls than that of the check. Marketable fruits from oil-sprayed plants were equal to or better than those from the checks in 16 quality characters. Radish, Raphanus sativus, and swiss chard, Beta vulgaris var. cicla, caused stunting in cantaloupes and served as hosts for potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae. The stunted plants showed either no or few symptoms incited by viruses, but they set only a few fruits that failed to mature by the time harvest was completed in other treatments.

Additional keywords: plant viruses, protecting cantaloupe against.