butternut squash

Butternut Squash. Image provided by M. Mazourek, Cornell University.

The squash and pumpkins we commonly grow belong to three different species in the genus Cucurbita. Buttercup, Blue Hubbard and Kabocha squash are found in Cucurbita maxima. Butternut squash and commercial pie pumpkins are in Cucurbita moschataCucurbita pepo is the most commonly grown and diverse species and includes Halloween pumpkins, zucchini, summer squash, acorn and delicate. Other species are also valuable in other countries and have served as sources of disease resistance for the species we grow in the US. The primary squash diseases of focus for the CucCAP project are Phytophthora rot, powdery mildew and several viruses.

Squash Disease Management

Breeding Squash for Disease Resistance

CucCAP Squash Team

soler squash

Tropical pumpkin (calabaza) variety Soler (Cucurbita moschata). Image provided by L. Wessel-Beaver, University of Puerto Rico.


  • Adams, M.L. and L.M. Quesada-Ocampo. 2016. Evaluation of fungicides for control of powdery mildew of winter squash, Cleveland 2015. Plant Disease Management Report. 10: V076.
  • Holdsworth W.L., K.E. LaPlant, D.C. Bell, M.M. Jahn, M. Mazourek. 2016. Cultivar-Based Introgression Mapping Reveals Wild-Species Derived Pm-0 The Major Powdery Mildew Resistance Locus in Squash. PLOS ONE. e0167715.
  • Krasnow, C.S., and M.K. Hausbeck. 2017. Evaluation of winter squash cultivars for resistance to Phytophthora root rot, 2015.  Plant Disease Management Report. 11:V02.
  • Krasnow, C.S., and M.K. Hausbeck. 2015. Evaluation of winter squash cultivars for resistance to Phytophthora root rot. Plant Disease Management Report. 11:V028.
  • Lange, H.W., C.D. Smart, and A.J. Seaman. 2017. Evaluation of materials allowed for organic production on powdery mildew of zucchini, 2016. Plant Disease Management Report. Volume 11.
  • Zhang G., Y. Ren, H. Sun, S. Guo, F. Zhang, J. Zhang, H. Zhang, Z. Jia, Z. Fei, Y. Xu, and H. Li. 2015. A high-density genetic map for anchoring genome sequences and identifying QTLs associated with dwarf vine in pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima Duch.). BMC Genomics 16:1101.


  • Alzohairy, S., and M. Hausbeck. 2015.  Transcriptomic profiling of Cucurbita species to characterize the age-related resistance against Phytophthora capsici.  Page 19 in: Proceedings of the 1st International Soilborne Oomycete Conference, Duck Key, FL, 8-10 Dec. (Abstract)
  • Kristie, M., J.L. Ikerd, M. Mandal, R. Hassell, and C.S. Kousik. 2017. Development of Phytophthora crown rot (Phytophthora capsici) resistant rootstocks of Cucurbita maxima and C. moschata for watermelon grafting. Presented at the Watermelon Research and Development Group meeting. Mobile, AL. Feb.
  • Krasnow, C., and Hausbeck, M. 2016. Orondis: a new tool for controlling Phytophthora blight on pepper and squash. Syngenta Meeting, Lansing, MI, Feb. 75 attendees.
  • Krasnow, C., and M. Hausbeck.  2016.  Phytophthora blight: management strategies for pepper and squash.  Southwest Hort Days, Benton Harbor, MI, Feb. 35 attendees.
  • Krasnow, C., and M. Hausbeck. 2015.  Using directed fungicide applications to manage Phytophthora fruit rot of processing squash.  Page 23 in: Proceedings of the 1st International Soilborne Oomycete Conference, Duck Key, FL, 8-10 Dec. (Abstract)
  • Mazourek M., W.L. Holdsworth, C. Hernandez, and K.E. LaPlant. 2016. Making up for lost time in Cucurbita molecular breeding.” Plant and Animal Genome Conference. San Diego, CA.
  • Miranda-Vélez, M, L. Wessel-Beaver, J.C. Verle-Rodrigues, and W. Seda-Martínez. 2016. Effect of leaf position on the assessment of resistance to Papaya ringspot virus and Zucchini yellow mosaic virus in tropical pumpkin. Proceedings of the 41st meeting of the Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Ciencias Agrícolas, November 18, 2016, Corozal, Puerto Rico. p. 57. (Abstract)
  • Schultheis, J.R. and T. Birdsell. 2017. Butternut squash production. Winter Vegetable Conference and Trade Show. Asheville, NC, 8 Feb.
  • Wessel-Beaver, L. and J.C.V. Rodrigues. 2016. Sources of variation in ELISA tests used to quantify ZYMV and PRSV resistance in Cucurbita moschata. In: Cucurbitaceae 2016, Proceedings of the XIth Eucarpia meeting on genetics and breeding of Cucurbitaceae. (E. Kozik and H. Paris, eds).