CucCAP crop and disease management specialists presented cucurbit crop and disease management strategies at winter meetings in several regions of the country.
Plant pathologists from the CucCAP disease management team published two articles focusing on CDM: “Population Analyses Reveal Two Host-Adapted Clades of Pseudoperonospora cubensis, the Causal Agent of Cucurbit Downy Mildew, on Commercial and Wild Cucurbits” & “Diagnostic Guide for Cucurbit Downy Mildew”
Cornell University scientists Dr. Christine Smart, a plant pathologist and Dr. Michael Mazourek, a vegetable breeder discuss newly developed squash breeding lines and the soilborne oomycete Phytophthora capsici.
How can growers living with this devastating disease of cucurbits, peppers and tomatoes produce a harvestable crop? Dr. Smart works on the “Phytophthora farm” at Cornell University, land which is dedicated to researching solutions growers can use to deal with this disease.
“Pseudoperonospora cubensis has two types of isolates or clades that preferentially infect certain cucurbit crops. In North Carolina, clade 2 isolates preferentially infect cucumbers and cantaloupes, while clade 1 isolates preferentially infect squash, pumpkin, and watermelon.”
“This disease can occur anywhere throughout the eastern US, even in a garden with just one cucumber plant and no past occurrences. This is because the pathogen spreads via wind-dispersed spores that can be moved long distances and be deposited by chance anywhere.”
Squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins experienced disease pressure from plant viruses, powdery mildew, fusarium, and phytophthora in Michigan during the week of August 13 to 19, 2020.
Team members include Jonathan Schultheis (NC State Univ.), Mary Hausbeck (Michigan State Univ.), Angela Linares (Univ. Puerto Rico), Jim McCreight (USDA, ARS), Lina Quesada (NC State Univ.), Chris Smart (Cornell Univ.), Linda Wessel Beaver (Univ. Puerto Rico)