CucCAP research identifies novel genetic source of resistance to Fusarium wilt race 1 in wild watermelon

Fusarium wilt race 1, caused by the soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum Schlechtend.: Fr. f. sp. niveum (E.F. Sm.) W.C. Snyder & H.N. Hans (Fon), is a major disease of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) in the United States and throughout the world. While Fusarium wilt race 1 resistance from chromosome 1 has been incorporated into several watermelon cultivars, identification of additional genetic sources of resistance is crucial if a durable and sustainable level of resistance is to be continued over the years. In a recent study (supported by the USDA-SCRI CucCAP project), Drs. Sandra Branham, Amnon Levi and Pat Wechter of the USDA-ARS, US Vegetable Laboratory identified a major QTL (qFon1-9) associated with resistance to Fon race 1 on chromosome 9. This discovery provides a novel genetic source of resistance to Fusarium wilt race 1 in watermelon, and thus an additional host-resistance option for watermelon breeders to further the effort to mitigate this serious phytopathogen. This research was published in Plant Disease, titled: “QTL mapping identifies novel source of resistance to Fusarium wilt race 1 in Citrullus amarus”. Continue Reading