SHIGA, Jul. 18 – The world’s first pumpkin breed that is resistant to powdery mildew was unveiled yesterday to vegetable producers and agricultural management instructors from an agricultural cooperative (JA) in Shiga Prefecture. The new robust variety is expected to give increased yield and ensure a lower burden for controlling the disease. The new variety is named TNK-157 and developed by a Japanese seed maker of vegetables and flowers, Takii Co. The company has already acquired the license and began trial production at limited locations.
Powdery mildew is a disease that causes white powdery spots on the leaves. Severely affected plants can die. With pumpkins, it may affect the leaves in the latter growing period and reduce the yield.
TNK-157 is less susceptible to the disease, and its leaves can keep producing nutrients until near the harvest time. So it tastes good and can be expected to have a sugar content of around 13. As its leaves will stay longer in good conditions, it can prevent sunburn of pumpkin skin, and so, an increase in the marketable fruit rate is also expected. Its fruit setting rate is higher compared to conventional powdery varieties, and the yield can increase by 10 to 20%.