Growers desire to have early flowering and high yield watermelon varieties. Information on phenotypic and genetic variability (molecular markers) is needed by breeders aiming to improve these traits in elite watermelon varieties. Scientists at the USDA, ARS, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, SC evaluated the USDA, ARS citron watermelon germplasm collection for flowering time and fruit yield traits under field conditions over two years. They used a “genome-wide association study (GWAS)” to detect genomic regions and molecular (DNA) markers associated with flowering time and fruit yield traits. The new molecular markers will be useful in improving watermelon varieties for early flowering and maturity and yield performance via marker-assisted breeding.
For further reading:
- Genetic control of flowering time and fruit yield in citron watermelon
By: Dennis N. Katuuramu, Amnon Levi, and William P. Wechter.
Published in Frontiers in Plant Science on October 10, 2023.