Epidemiology of zucchini viruses in Flanders in support of a sustainable management strategy

Kris De Jonghe, Mathias De Backer, Sofie Darwich, Danny Callens, Sofie Venneman, Luc De Rooster

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    Due to an increase in zucchini production in Flanders, a gain in importance of zucchini diseases was observed. This includes the three major zucchini viruses Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV, Cucumovirus), Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV, Potyvirus) and Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV, Potyvirus). These viruses are typically transmitted by aphids in a non-persistent way although also mechanical transmission occurs for WMV and ZYMV. They cause highly similar symptoms including mottling, mosaic, chlorosis and leaf or fruit distortion. This results in a reduction of yield and unmarketable fruits. During a seven year survey in two main growing areas in Flanders (2007-2013), we observed a clear shift in virus incidence. While a decrease of ZYMV over the years was observed, the importance of CMV increased. Yet, from 2013 onwards, it dropped again. The incidence of WMV remained more constant and it was observed that this virus was the most important virus in relation to reduction in yield and fruit quality due to symptom development. A more detailed view on the genetic variability within the population of WMV in particular, was obtained by sequencing a part of the coat protein of selection of WMV isolates from different growing seasons (2008 -2013). During the survey, three different genotype groups were observed in Flanders: Two “emerging” groups and one “classic” group as described by Desbiez et al. (2009). In the “emerging” groups, isolates from all survey years of both growing areas were represented, whereas in the “classic group” mainly isolates from 2013 were present. In some cases we also observed isolates representing two genotypes in one field, indicating the establishment of the genotypes and a high population diversity. Further research is required to determine possible introduction pathways and to study the eventual recombination of different genotypes. Nevertheless, the genetic information obtained from this WMV study served as valuable input for a sustainable management strategy which was compiled to support the zucchini producers in their struggle with huge losses due to virus infections.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    TijdschriftAbstract book 6th International Symposium on cucurbits
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 1-jul-2019
    Evenement6th International Symposium on cucurbits (ISHS): Cross-polllination between North and South - Ghent University, Ghent, België
    Duur: 30-jun-20194-jul-2019

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