Hydroponically produced mini-cucumber with improved powdery mildew resistance

Nicole L. Shaw, Daniel J. Cantliffe


The Beit Alpha (BA) cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is a new commodity for the Florida greenhouse industry. In past trials, BA cultivar production and quality were compared to traditional 'Dutch' or European cucumber cultivars. The cultivar Sarig, a BA-type, produced three times more yield than the Dutch-type cultivar Kalunga. The BA cucumber was originally bred for production on an Israeli kibbutz. More recently, several seed companies in Holland began distributing a similar BA cucumber, termed the 'mini-cucumber' (MC) with proposed powdery mildew resistance (a trait lacking in some early BA cultivars). In Spring 2002, four Dutch MC cultivars, two U.S.-released MC cultivars, and six BA-type Israeli cultivars were compared for yield, fruit quality, and disease resistance. Plants were grown hydroponically in perlite in a passive-ventilated high-roof greenhouse in Gainesville, Fla. Fruit were harvested 27 times from 13 Mar. until 24 May 2002. Fruit were graded and weighed, and powdery mildew resistance was evaluated at the end of the season. 'Figaro', 'Manar', 'Sarawat', and 'Meitav' produced the greatest amount of fruit, an average of 238 fruit per m. The control cultivar Sarig produced 213 fruit per m. Average fruit weight ranged from 103 g for 'Figaro' to 139 g for 'Diva'. For early control of powdery mildew, 'Quadris' fungicide was applied 2 and 4 weeks after transplanting, with 'Nova' applied during week 3. No other fungicide applications were made in order to allow powdery mildew to naturally attack susceptible cultivars. Powdery mildew leaf coverage for 'Sarig' and 'Meitav' were 90% and 100%, respectively. 'Sarawat' had approximately 40% leaf coverage with powdery mildew while all other cultivars had less than 25% coverage. Mini-cucumber cultivars Figaro and Manar were found comparable to 'Sarig' in fruit yield and quality. The improved powdery mildew resistance of the MC cultivars may offer disease control advantages compared to traditional cultivars when this fungus is present.


cucumis sativus; beit alpha cucumber; greenhouse; protected culture

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283