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Effect of reflective mulches and floating row covers on the spread of viral diseases and the production of squash in the United Arab Emirates

Zeinab Ahmed El-Hamalawi, Ahmed Al Masoum.

Abstract
Plastic mulches in combination with polyethylene floating row covers were evaluated under the hot weather conditions of United Arab Emirates as a method of controlling aphid-borne mosaic viruses damaging squash (Cucurbita pepo L.). The total fruit yields and the yield of marketable fruits increased significantly with the use of mulch-cover combination. The mulch-cover treatmentssignificantly decreased the population of colonizing aphids on plant leaves and also the number of plants showing mosaic symptoms. Aluminum painted plastic mulch reduced mosaic symptoms the most followed by white, yellow and black plastic mulches. Serological tests indicated the presence of watermelon mosaic virus (WMV), zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) and squash mosaic virus (SqMV)

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