healthy cucumber plants with fruit from field plots

Image provided by T. Wehner, NC State University.

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is one of the most important cultivated cucurbits with a global production of 70 million tonnes in 2013 (FAOSTAT). It is typically eaten fresh, or as a processed product (i.e., pickled). The major cucumber market types are the American processing and fresh market types, the Dutch gherkin and greenhouse types, the Asian trellis type (Chinese Long, Japanese Long), the Middle Eastern Beit Alpha type, and the German Schalgurken type.

In the U.S., pickling or processing cucumbers are usually grown flat on bare ground, often with overhead or furrow irrigation while fresh market cucumbers are grown on raised beds, often with drip irrigation and plastic mulch, to improve fruit quality and reduce disease incidence. The primary cucumber diseases indicated by industry stakeholders, and the focus for the cucumber portion of the CucCAP project, are downy mildew and Phytophthora fruit rot. Cucumbers can also be subject to powdery mildew, gummy stem blight, Fusarium wilt and several viruses.