Short communication. The wilt of winter cucumber in south-eastern Spain caused by Pythium irregulare

Y. Serrano-Alonso, J. M. Melero-Vara

Abstract


Pythium irregulare was isolated from adult cucumber plants with stem base necrosis, wilt or, frequently, that were dead; symptoms were particularly observed in crops grown in winter in plastic-houses in south eastern Spain. Damage was often important because symptoms develop during the fruit harvesting period. Cucumber plants cv. Nevada sown in late September were inoculated at the 4-7 leaf stage (mid October) with a suspension of propagules of P. irregulare isolated from diseased cucumber or tomato plants. Non-inoculated plants served as controls. Symptoms were recorded weekly until the end of the experiment in mid January and cumulative marketable yields calculated. The experiment was repeated the following year. A high incidence (93.1 and 97.9%) of diseased or dead plants occurred in plots inoculated with isolates of P. irregulare from cucumber, which were significantly more aggressive than tomato isolates. Plants in non-inoculated plots remained symptom free. Yields were significantly lower in plots inoculated with cucumber isolates in both years, mainly due to reductions in the number of fruits rather than fruit weight. This is the first report of P. irregulare as the causal agent of root rot in plastic-houses of cucumber plants in Almería (Spain), one of the world’s largest concentrations of plastic-houses.


Keywords


aetiology; Cucumis sativus; fruit yield; oomycetes; soil-less crops; zoosporic pathogens

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/20110901-067-10