Scab (Cladosporium cucumerinum)
It attacks all aboveground plant parts. Initial symptoms on leaves appear as light water-soaked or pale green spots. The spots are numerous and can appear on and between veins. Elongate spots may develop on petioles and stems. The spots later turn grey to white and become angular. The fine veinlets in the spots may be brown and are distinct against a white background. Dead leaf tissue cracks and breaks away until the whole leaf is ragged. Fruits can be attacked at all stages of growth. However, young fruits are most susceptible. Plant tissue near the spots may produce sap, initially watery but later becomes gummy to hard.
The fruit spots are cankerous and with time become darker, sunken until a pronounced cavity is formed. Under moist weather, a dark-green velvety layer of fungal growth appears on the cavities. The fungus survives in crop debris, soil and on seed. It is spread by insects, farm tools and wind. The disease is most severe at 100% relative humidity and at relatively cool temperatures (21-25°C ). Its host range includes cantaloupe, gherkin, muskmelon, pumpkin, squash and watermelon.
- Use resistant varieties, if available.
- Use disease-free seeds.
- Practice crop rotation with non-related crops.