B. A. Coutts,
M. A. Kehoe, and
R. A. C. Jones, Crop Protection Branch, Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, Bentley Delivery Centre, Perth, WA 6983, and School of Plant Biology and Institute of Agriculture, Faculty of Science, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
In glasshouse experiments, Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) was transmitted from infected to healthy zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) plants by direct contact when leaves were rubbed against each other, crushed, or trampled, and, to a lesser extent, on ZYMV-contaminated blades. When sap from zucchini plants infected with three ZYMV isolates was kept at room temperature for up to 6 h, it infected healthy plants readily. Also, when sap from ZYMV-infected leaves was applied to seven surfaces (cotton, plastic, leather, metal, rubber vehicle tire, rubber-soled footwear, and human skin) and left for up to 48 h before the ZYMV-contaminated surface was rubbed onto healthy zucchini plants, ZYMV remained infective for 48 h on tire, 24 h on plastic and leather, and up to 6 h on cotton, metal, and footwear. On human skin, ZYMV remained infective for 5 min only. The effectiveness of 13 disinfectants at inactivating ZYMV was evaluated by adding them to sap from ZYMV-infected leaves which was then rubbed on to healthy zucchini plants. None of the plants became infected when nonfat dried milk (20%, wt/vol) or bleach (sodium hypochlorite at 42 g/liter, diluted 1:4) were used. When ZYMV-infected pumpkin leaves were trampled by footwear and then used to trample healthy plants, all plants became infected; however, when contaminated footwear was dipped in a footbath containing bleach (sodium hypochlorite at 42 g/liter, diluted 1:4) before trampling, none became infected. This study demonstrates that ZYMV can be transmitted by contact and highlights the need for on-farm hygiene practices (decontaminating tools, machinery, clothing, and so on) to be included in integrated disease management strategies for ZYMV in cucurbit crops.