Linda Wessel-Beaver, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez

Research involves plant breeding and genetics of tropical pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata). The goal of my research is to develop new, improved varieties of tropical pumpkin and to expand the knowledge base concerning the genetics and improvement of the genus Cucurbita. Current and past research has dealt with disease and insect resistance (resistance to whiteflies, melonworm, silverleaf disorder, powdery and downy mildew, zucchini yellow mosaic virus and papaya ringspot virus), genetic relationships and diversity within Cucurbita (including molecular phylogenetic studies of genes of the carotenoid pathway and molecular diversity in mitochondrial genes), and modification of growth habit of tropical pumpkin.

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