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Novel Approaches to Implementation of Pumpkin Resistance in Control of Viral Diseases

Author(s): Aleksandra Bulajić | Ana Vučurović | Ivana Stanković | Danijela Ristić | Janoš Berenji | Branka Krstić

Journal: Pesticidi i Fitomedicina
ISSN 1820-3949

Volume: 25;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 201;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Pumpkins | Plant aphids | Non-persistant transmission | Resistance | Control

As there is a growing frequency of viral plant diseases in epidemic proportions, the possibilities for successful control are constantly being explored. Despite the fact that integral and simultaneous employment of numerous control measures may contribute to thedecreasing amount of yield losses, especially concerning non-persistently aphid-transmitted viruses, these measures are often not efficient enough. Research into the basis of resistance to viral infection and principles of its inheritance, introduction of sources of resistance in susceptible genotypes, by conventional or genetic manipulations, are very intensive for cucurbit crops, especially pumpkins. Pumpkin crops are being endangered by a great number of different viruses, among which the Zucchini yellow mosaic virus, (ZYMV), Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV) and Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) are present every year in Serbia, frequently causing epidemics.The majority of pumpkin cultivars are not resistant or tolerant to viral infections, but sources of resistance have been identified in various related species. So far, the identified sources of esistance to the ZYMV are found in Cucurbita moschata and Citrullus lanatus var.lanatus genotypes and consist of one or several major dominant genes of resistance. It is a similar case with WMV, although the sources of dominant major genes are identified in C. lanatus and C. colocynthis. The sources of resistance to CMV in the form of one dominant gene have been identified in the genotype C. moschata, although the introduction of this gene by conventional means proved to be very difficult. Besides the aforementioned, substantial efforts are being made in developing genotypes with multiple resistance against several viruses and even other pathogens, as well as genotypes with resistance to the most significant plant aphid species, through mechanisms of antixenosis or antibiosis. The other way of obtaining resistant genotypes includes genetic manipulation.Genetically modified resistant pumpkins have been among the first successfully developed crops. Genotypes with pathogen derived resistance can already be found in commercially grown pumpkins in some parts of the world, and they have been developed by introducingthe coat protein gene of one, two or all three viruses which are the most frequent,ZYMV, WMV and CMV. Yet, this approach to the control of pumpkin viral diseases is related to possible negative consequences, mostly through the already detected gene transferto wild plants and development of resistant transgenic weeds of unpredictable impact on the environment. Improved host plant genetic resistance to viral infections or biological vectors, developedby conventional or genetic engineering methods, represents the most dynamic and prominent field of research. It is economically and ecologically the most justified approach to the control of pumpkin and other plant diseases caused by viruses non-persistentlytransmitted by aphids.
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