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Area-wide Incidence of Whiteflies and CYSDV in Desert Melons (Jul. 28, 2010)

Planting of fall melons is closely approaching and so is the potential for cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV) to cause problems. The virus was first identified in desert melons in the fall of 2006 where widespread infection on cantaloupes, honeydews and other melons cost growers a significant portion of their crops. Recent USDA statistics suggest that more than 30% yield losses have occurred in Arizona to CYSDV in 2008 and 2009. Over the past four years we have conducted a considerable amount of research to try and to understand the epidemiology of the virus and its impact on melons. Also, new information has been generated on control of the vector (Bemisia whitefly adults). Whitefly numbers this spring and summer have been relatively light, and coupled with the low incidence of virus on spring melons and the aggressive management programs that PCAs and growers are now using, it will be interesting to see how CYSDV impacts melons this fall. Our research suggests that the area-wide incidence of CYSDV may be light this fall, but based on what we don't know about the virus-vector relationship, we're not going to predict anything at this point. To view a preliminary report of one of our research projects that details our findings on the Area-wide Incidence of Whiteflies and CYSDV in Desert Melons, go to this link.

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For questions or comments on any of the topics please contact Marco Pena at the Yuma Agricultural Center.
College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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