Cultivated watermelon has a narrow genetic base and suffers from various biotic and abiotic stresses. Wild watermelons are known to carry disease resistance traits. High-quality reference genomes of three disease-resistant wild watermelon species were generated to serve as the foundation for biological research and unlocking their breeding potentials. Genomes of 201 wild accessions were resequenced, substantially increasing the representation of wild watermelons in publicly available genomic resources. A super-pangenome was constructed to represent the entire watermelon gene repertoire, uncovering several disease resistance genes that are present in wild watermelons while completely lost in watermelon cultivars.
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A Citrullus genus super-pangenome reveals extensive variations in wild and cultivated watermelons and sheds light on watermelon evolution and domestication
By: Shan Wu, Honghe Sun, Lei Gao, Sandra Branham, Cecilia McGregor, Susanne S. Renner, Yong Xu, Chandrasekar Kousik, W. Patrick Wechter, Amnon Levi, Zhangjun Fei
Published in Plant Biotechnology Journal on July 25, 2003.