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An Evaluation of Cucurbits for Susceptibility to Cucurbitaceous and Solanaceous Phytophthora capsici isolates

October 2012 , Volume 96 , Number  10
Pages  1,404 - 1,414

T. B. Enzenbacher, Former Graduate Research Assistant, and M. K. Hausbeck, Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University 48824

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Accepted for publication 20 March 2012.

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and squash (Cucurbita spp.) production in Michigan is limited by the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora capsici. Cucumber, summer squash, and winter squash fruit were evaluated for susceptibility to five isolates of P. capsici. Detached fruit were inoculated with a 5-mm-diameter culture plug of mycelia and sporangia and were incubated in a laboratory or greenhouse. Lesion and pathogen growth diameters were measured and pathogen growth density was visually assessed. All P. capsici isolates incited rot, with significant differences found among fruit type and pathogen isolate. Straightneck squash (Cucurbita pepo), slicing cucumber, and butternut squash (C. moschata) exhibited more severe symptoms than the other fruit tested. Summer and winter squash seedlings were evaluated in greenhouse experiments, in which P. capsici-infested millet seed (approximately 1 g) were placed on the surface of soilless potting media. Disease severity was visually assessed every 2 days for 14 days post inoculation. Crop type, pathogen isolate, or the crop type–pathogen isolate interaction term were significant for symptom appearance and area under the disease progress curve values. Differences in susceptibility of butternut squash and zucchini cultivars were observed following inoculation with solanaceous isolate 13351. Results from this study can refine management programs for Phytophthora rot.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society