New Solutions Against Cucumber Viruses In Greenhouses

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New Solutions Against Cucumber Viruses In Greenhouses

The cultivation of cucumber in greenhouses is considered one of the most crucial cultivations as it achieves good income for farmers within a short period of time (production begins after about 35 days of transplanting). This has resulted in the establishment of thousands of greenhouses in the Mediterranean coast.

Cucumber is a highly sensitive crop to fungal diseases and nutrient deficiencies. Viral diseases are equally critical as they cause huge and heavy losses to the crop during the agricultural season.

Since antiviral products are not available so far, the world’s largest seed companies have resorted to the only possible solution: producing varieties resistant to these viruses by hybridization (not genetic modification) through successive operations intended to introduce the gene responsible for resistance to the commercial varieties in question.

As an example, we will talk about Hannibal F1, the only variety in the Middle East that is resistant to the mosaic virus.

Cucumber Yellow Stunting Disorder Virus or Mosaic Virus

Symbolized by CYSDV, it is one of the most important viruses that infect the cucurbit family especially cucumbers within greenhouses.

It spreads in Europe, America, and Asia, and causes crop losses ranging from 30 to 60%. The symptoms manifest in the form of yellowing, mottling of leaves, stunting of plants, death of young fruits, and loss of production. It spreads greatly in the summer and autumn planting seasons and the infection is concentrated at the entrances to greenhouses where the whitefly, essential vector, is active.

The whitefly Bemisia tabaci is considered the most important insect vector of the disease, it is widely spread in protected agriculture, where it finds suitable climatic conditions for its reproduction.

Traditional methods to resist viruses depend on the control of insect vectors of these diseases, chemical control using pesticides, or mechanical using nets and traps to prevent their access to the plant

Variety Resistant to CYSDV

DP elite zaden was able to introduce a very important protected cucumber variety that is spread in several countries in the Mediterranean basin and is called Hannibal F1.

The most important attribute of this variety is its resistance to infection with CYSDV virus, and it is the only variety in the Middle East that is resistant to this virus, this has been observed in the field, where the plants of the variety remain strong, green, continue to grow and produce fruits, while we can observe on the varieties that are not resistant to the disease the symptoms of yellowing, stunting, and cessation of production, especially on the entrances of the greenhouses.

No Virus (Left) - CYSDV (Right)

In addition to its resistance to the virus, Hannibal F1 has other important qualities, such:

  • Resistant to high temperatures
  • Resistant to powdery mildew
  • Multi-bearing 3-4 fruits on the node
  • Above 17 cm fruit long, dark green, slightly wrinkled, and highly desirable in the market
  • Continuous growth and production for a long time

Because of the plant vigor, it is preferable to plant it in single lines with a distance ranges from 80 to 100 cm between the seedlings, and this saves the number of seedlings per unit area while ensuring high production in quantity and quality.

The attributes of Hannibal variety of disease resistance, growth strength, high yield and high-quality fruit make it one of the most important cucumber varieties for protected cultivation in the Mediterranean region today.

Eng. N. Haydarie

Maryse Bou Zeid

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