Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Ricky E. Foster

Committee Member 1

Christian Y. Oseto

Committee Member 2

Kevin T. McNamara


Bacterial wilt of muskmelon caused by Erwinia trachephila (E.F. Smith), is one of the most important diseases of cucurbits, particularly muskmelon, in the world. This pathogen is transmitted by the striped cucumber beetle,Accalyma vittatum (F.), and causes serious economic losses in fruit yield and quality. Control of this disease is usually accomplished by applying insecticides to kill the beetles before disease transmission occurs. The goal of this study was to reduce the bacterial wilt incidence or beetle feeding on muskmelon using an alternative control method, the plant activator acibenzolar-S-methyl (Actigard) ® . The potential for using acibenzolar-S-methyl as a foliar spray was evaluated by using different rates, number of applications and timing of Actigard ® compared with standard insecticides. Muskmelon plants treated with Actigard® at a concentration of 28.3g per acre 6 times had a significant reduction in plant vigor and yield. Actigard® treatment at the recommended concentrations (28.3g and14.17. per acre) did not reduce bacterial wilt severity or incidence. Likewise, Actigard ® did not kill striped cucumber beetles or reduce their populations on muskmelon plants.

These results suggest that acibenzolar-S-methyl (Actigard) ® does not offer a viable alternative to managing bacterial wilt with pesticides.

Included in

Entomology Commons