Gerben J. Messelink*, F.J. Calvo, Francisco Marín, Dirk Janssen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Several cucurbits species are cultivated in greenhouses worldwide. The most important genera are (1) Cucurbita, which includes squash, pumpkin, zucchini and gourds, (2) Citrullus, which includes watermelon and (3) Cucumis, which includes cucumber and various melons. Pests and diseases affecting cucurbit crops can vary considerably in relation to geographic area and cropping system. Growing in soil or on hydroponics strongly determines the presence of certain soil pathogens or nematodes. Also the way the crop is cultivated, the number of cropping cycles and the transition between cycles strongly affects the performance of pests, diseases and biological control agents. The main pests and diseases detrimental to cucurbits in various parts of the globe are reported here, along with the most effective or sustainable control strategies currently applied to manage them. Many pests can be controlled very successfully with natural enemies, but despite the recent developments on microbiological control agents, integrated pest management (IPM) with a low input of pesticides and, particularly fungicides, remains challenging in cucurbits, mainly because of viruses and diseases that are difficult to manage biologically or with selective control methods. Plant breeding programmes that develop disease tolerant cultivars that can be combined with arthropod natural enemies for pest control are promising to further develop robust IPM systems for cucurbits.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegrated Pest and Disease Management in Greenhouse Crops
EditorsMaria Lodovica Gullino, Ramon Albajes, Philippe C. Nicot
ISBN (Electronic)9783030223045
ISBN (Print)9783030223038
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2020


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