CucCAP scientists examine mechanisms of watermelon resistance to viral infection

Watermelon production in the U.S. and around the world faces serious threats by viral diseases, including aphid-transmitted potyviruses: papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) and zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV). In a recent study, a CucCAP team examined expression of anti-microbial/anti-viral, ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) in watermelons in response to inoculation with PRSV.  The PRSV-resistant citron watermelon (Citrullus amarus) exhibited high RIP expression, versus low expression in plants of the susceptible, cultivated “Charleston Gray” watermelon. This finding may offer additional genetic and genomic resources for improving potyvirus-resistance in watermelon cultivars.

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CucCAP researchers develop new methods for detection and analysis of downy mildew pathogen on cucumber

Researchers in Dr. Mary Hausbeck’s group at MSU have developed a highly sensitive DNA-based protocol to genetically distinguish between spores of cucumber downy mildew and hop downy mildew from spore trap samples. The enhanced sensitivity enables detection 5-10 days before symptoms appear in cucumber fields, providing a broader window for initiation of chemical control.

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