CucCAP researchers identify new loci for resistance to powdery mildew in watermelon

watermelon graphicPowdery mildew has been spreading across the US on watermelon in recent years and can infest seedlings, adult plants and fruit and significantly reduce yield. Growers routinely spray pesticides to manage powdery mildew of watermelon. ARS scientists in Charleston SC developed one excellent source of resistance to this disease and characterized the mechanisms of resistance in the line called USVL531-MDR. By using a combination or RNAseq and whole genome resequencing of parents and RIL lines, they identified ClaPMR2, Citrullus lanatus PM Resistance gene 2 {Chr2 : 26750001 .. 26753327 (-)}, a NBS-LRR resistance protein (R) and developed a CAPS marker. The molecular marker can be used in breeding programs to incorporate this resistance into commercial cultivars. The results of this study will be useful to seed industry and University vegetable breeders to develop new watermelon varieties with resistance to powdery mildew.

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Published August 20, 2020

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-70932-z