This summer, the Cucurbit Aphid-Borne Yellow virus (CABYV) spread like wildfire through cucumber crops in the Netherlands. That is what growers and crop consultants reported. This was reason enough for the ‘Kennis in je Kas’ (KijK) Program Council to agree to accelerated research iinto tackling this new cucumber virus. Kijk helps fund research into certain innovation programs in the Dutch greenhouse sector’s cross-crops.

Recent photos of CABYV in a Dutch greenhouse. Ewoud van der Ven and Rens Smith of Delphy shared these on GroentenNieuws, a Dutch greenhouse growers’ platform.

Aphids spread this virus. “Farms are experiencing high aphid pressure. So, it’s vital to give growers information as soon as possible,” stresses Helma Verberkt, Plant Health policy specialist at Glastuinbouw Nederland, a Dutch greenhouse horticulture sector business organization.

“That involves knowledge of how this virus lives. That includes signs of damage, its transmission method, and crop rotation protocols. This information must prevent the spread of this virus to the new crop. The goal is to share knowledge and generate new information. That must prevent further spread of the CABY virus in Dutch greenhouse farming,” she says.

CABY is a polera virus. It is unregulated, so has no quarantine status. But it can cause significant damage in all cucumber-like crops. These include cucumber, gherkin, zucchini, and melon. In Europe, the virus was first described only in 1988. It was found in southern France. However, it may have been present in Asia and parts of southern Europe for much longer. Crop damage ranges from 10% plant failure to the complete loss of planting areas.

Adequate action crucial
Dutch growers will get all the available knowledge and relevant information about this relatively new virus through the KijK’s Program Council’s approved project. That should improve the control system and thus prevent further spread as much as possible.

Growers that are already infected will receive tools to ensure the elimination of this virus during crop rotation. “We must prevent vector aphids from quickly spreading this virus. Adequate action is, therefore, of great importance,” is how topic specialist Jeannette Vriend substantiates the program’s council’s emergency application. “This is a new virus in the Netherlands. So, research focuses primarily on knowledge enrichment and sharing.”

Useful and important
This approach fits with the ‘Het Nieuwe Doen in Plantgezondheid’ (‘A New Way of Plant Health’) innovation program. Mark Meijers is the Cucumber network coordinator at Glastuinbouw Nederland. He is pleased with the program council’s rapid approval. “The Plant Health Business Group gave a positive recommendation for this research in advance. Given its impact, this project is rightly assessed as useful and important,” Mark concludes.

Source: Kennis in je Kas