CucCAP researchers genetically characterize more than 2000 melon accessions in the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System

The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) maintains a melon germplasm collection of more than 2000 accessions collected worldwide from major melon production areas and regions where primitive melons exist. This unique collection provides a critical resource for conservation of natural genetic diversity and continued melon improvement. The CucCAP team genetically characterized the collection using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) to increase understanding of genetic diversity, phylogenetic relationships, and population structure of the collection, and to improve melon taxonomic classifications. A core collection of 383 accessions was developed from the GBS analysis to provide a public resource for future research and genomics-assisted breeding. Thirty-five morphological characters were evaluated in the core collection and used in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify genomic regions potentially related to fruit quality and other horticultural traits important in melon improvement.

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