Vegetable Pathology Programs

CucCAP Pathology Team

The CucCAP team brings a wealth of experience and expertise from multiple regions of the country regarding the critical cucurbit pathogens. The Hausbeck, Kousik, Quesada, and Smart labs have worked extensively with the oomycete pathogens, Phytophthora capsici (root, crown and fruit rots) and Pseudoperonospora cubensis (causal agent of downy mildew). They have characterized pathogen populations, developed diagnostic methods , determined disease spread mechanisms and performed spore trapping to provide timely information about movement into production areas, performed fungicide efficacy trials and monitored for fungicide resistance, and developed disease control recommendations. This information is routinely communicated with growers via local, regional and national meetings, field days, social media and extension websites. Similarly, the Wechter, Kousik, McCreight, and Quesada labs have developed diagnostic methods and charted disease occurrence, characterized fungal races, and performed fungicide trials for gummy stem blight (Stagonosporopsis cucurbitacearum, S. citrulli, S. caricae), powdery mildew (Podosphaera xanthii and Golovinomyces cichoracearum), and Fusarium oxysporum (F. sp. niveum). The McCreight lab has collaborated in the establishment of the Melon Powdery Mildew Database. Studies of the cucurbit viruses identified as priorities for this project by Ling, McCreight, Wintermantel, and Wessel-Beaver include reports of occurrence, spread, prevalence, and alternate hosts, establishment of detection methods and characterization of strains, and development of management systems for whitefly transmitted viruses.