First Report of Phytophthora Fruit Rot on Bitter Gourd (Mormodica charantia) and Sponge Gourd (Luffa cylindrica) Caused by Phytophthora capsici


Luffa sponge (smooth gourd) and bitter gourds (bitter melon) are specialty vegetables grown in the U.S. on a small scale for select markets. Luffa gourds are also grown for sponges. In Sept. 2014, heavy rainfall resulted in rot of >50% of bitter gourd and >25% on sponge gourd in a field in Charleston, SC. The microbe causing the fruit rot was identified using microscopy and molecular tools. Prior to this study it was not known if this microbe could cause fruit rot of bitter gourd. This knowledge will be useful to suggest management strategies

Plant Health Progress
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