Disease:Fruit Rot/ Cottony leak

This is a very common disease affecting cucurbitaceous vegetables including bitter gourd, snake gourd, pumpkin, bottle gourd, ash gourd etc during hot summer months and during rainy season. Once the fruits are infected in the field they continue to rot during transit and storage too.

  • Disease 1
  • Disease 2


  • On the fruits, infection occurs around wound sites due to insect bites, physical injuries and excessive wetness. The diseased fruits appear to be covered with luxuriant cottony growth on its surface and it starts to soften considerably.
  • On the margin of the cottony growth the skin of the fruit looks dark.green and water soaked. The disease starts appearing as soft dark green water soaked lesions that gradually develop to form watery soft rot.
  • In watermelons, the decay usually starts at the blossom end.
  • The infected portion decomposes rapidly due to enzymatic degradation.
  • The disease is commonly seen on fruits collected from the field or touching the soil.


Pythium aphanidermatum and P. butleri infect the crops during the high moisture condition, whereas, S.rolfsii attacks during the warmer months. Abundance of moisture, high temperature and young tissues of the host are factors determining infection.

Procedure for Observation

Routinely inspect the field. Count 20 fruits at random from the plot and estimate the percentage infection.


  • 5 %
  • Control Measures

  • A change in crop sequence is a sensible procedure to manage the disease.
  • The fruits should not be allowed to come in touch with the soil from which the pathogens gain entry.
  • Heavy mulching with straw/ paper will help in reducing infection.
  • Spray 2% Pseudomonas fluorescence with the commencement of flowering.
  • Remove badly infected vines followed by chemical spraying ( dithane M-45 @ 2g/L) prevents the spread of the disease.