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Biological Control Measures to Reduce the Late-Season Collapse of Melon 1997

Project Leader: T. A. Zitter

Objectives:

1. Select the best treatments alone and in combination, at seeding and again at the transplant stage, for controlling late collapse of melons.

2. Establish whether Verticillium dahliae is one of the biological factors responsible for sudden wilt in melon.

Results:

Failure to reproduce wilting and the subsequent re-isolation of the fungus in growth chamber studies prevented the pursuit of objective 1, though success was had at producing microsclerotia for further studies. Three attempts were made to infect melons with V. dahliae, but none was recovered in any of the tissue isolations. By the end of the season, V. dahliae isolates had been recovered from lettuce, strawberry, pepper, eggplant, tomato, and watermelon. These remain to be tested for pathogenicity on melon seedlings.