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Breeding and Evaluation of Squash and Pumpkin with Multiple Disease and Insect Resistance 1998

Project Leader: R. Robinson

Objectives:

1. Breed pumpkins, summer squash, and winter squash for disease and insect resistance. Priority will be given to combining resistance to the three viruses already bred into the ‘Whitaker’ squash variety with resistance to watermelon mosaic virus (WMV-2), powdery mildew, gummy stem blight (black rot), and cucumber beetles.

2. Provide seed to extension agents, growers, seedsmen, and others interested in testing new disease-resistant varieties and breeding lines of squash and pumpkin.

Results:

Crosses and selection were made to add to the Whitaker variety resistance to additional diseases, particularly watermelon mosaic virus, and to cucumber beetles. Crosses were also made to transfer the multiple disease resistance of Whitaker to other types of summer squash and to winter squash. Pumpkin germplasm with good type and resistance to cucumber mosaic virus was bred and released to seed companies to enable them to develop cucumber mosaic virus-resistant varieties. Whitaker was shown to have good combining ability. Hybrids with Whitaker as a parent will have multiple disease resistance. Whitaker and other powdery mildew-resistant germplasm grew quite well and produced a good crop without any pesticide application for powdery mildew control.