CucCAP scientists genetically map novel sources of resistance to cucurbit downy mildew in watermelon

watermelon graphicWatermelon crops are increasingly threatened by infection by cucurbit downy mildew (CDM), caused by Pseudoperonospora cubensis.  While there are limited sources of disease resistance within cultivated watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), a related species, C. amarus, can be a valuable source of resistances.  CucCAP scientists at USDAARS, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory and Clemson University Coastal Research and Education Center (CREC) at CharlestonSC performed CDM disease resistance screening and whole genome resequencing of 122 C. amarus accessions.  Genome wide association analysis (GWAS) of these materials identified several marker-trait associations and candidate genes, providing potential resources for genomics-assisted breeding for resistance to CDM in watermelon.

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