CucCAP researchers identify watermelon root traits to improve tolerance to stress and diseases

watermelon graphicAs a result of many years of domestication, modern watermelon varieties have overall a small root system and are highly susceptible to a wide range of soil-borne diseases. In a recent study, CucCAP researchers in Charleston, SC (USDA, ARS, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory) used a digital imaging technology to evaluate the root systems in 335 watermelon accessions. They found a wide diversity in root size and architecture and identified several accessions that can be used in breeding programs aimed to improve the root system of modern watermelon varieties and their overall tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress.

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Published Online: Jul 6, 2020 in HortScience

DOI: HORTSCI15093-20