Early Career Scientist Spotlight | Gregory Vogel

This pHD candidate’s CucCAP grant research focused on developing squash breeding lines with some Phytophthora blight resistance and mapping genes involved in disease resistance. His other focus was pathogen population genetics. In CucCAP1 the squash team sequenced and characterized isolates of the causal agent, Phytophthora capsici, from around New York and mapped genes in the pathogen associated with mating type, fungicide resistance, and virulence.

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

The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System maintains a melon germplasm collection from worldwide melon production areas and regions where primitive melons exist. The CucCAP team genetically characterized the collection to increase understanding of genetic diversity, phylogenetic relationships, and population structure of the collection, and to improve melon taxonomic classifications. A core collection was developed from the analysis to provide a public resource for future research and genomics-assisted breeding. Thirty-five morphological characters were evaluated in the core collection to identify genomic regions potentially related to fruit quality and other horticultural traits important in melon improvement.

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CucCAP scientists translate genomic studies into novel detection method for precision management of downy mildew outbreaks

Downy mildew caused by Pseudoperonospora cubensis is the most destructive foliar disease affecting cucurbit crops.  Genomic studies by Dr. Lina Quesada-Ocampo and colleagues at North Carolina State University showed that different isolates preferentially infect different cucurbit crops.  From this information, a multiplex PCR-based assay was combined with spore trapping to identify which crops are most at risk.  These results can facilitate timely and crop-specific fungicide application prior to appearance of symptoms in sentinel plots.

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