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Cavity Rot of Winter Melon Caused by Verticillium dahliae. W. D. Gubler, Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis 95616. E. A. Bernhardt, Petoseed Research Center, Route 4, Box 1255, Woodland, CA 95695. Plant Dis. 76:416-417. Accepted for publication 5 November 1991. Copyright 1992 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-76-0416.

In each of 3 yr, fruit of winter melon (Benincasa hispida) held in nonrefrigerated storage were decayed internally. The fruit appeared sound, but the flesh contained pockets of rot and profuse mycelium. Verticillium dahliae was isolated in pure culture both from the rotted fruit tissue and from hyphal tips of the mycelium. The isolates caused a wilt of winter melon seedlings and were characterized by host range tests as the race 1 tomato strain. Symptoms of fruit rot were reproduced by injecting a conidial suspension into the fruit flesh. Although winter melon plants showed no symptoms of Verticillium wilt at harvest, V. dahliae was shown by isolation to be present in the roots, stems, and peduncles. This is the first report of V. dahliae causing a fruit rot.