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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Genomics and Bioinformatics Team | 2020 CucCAP Progress Report

Cucurbit Genomic Team members include Zhangjun Fei (Boyce Thompson Institute), Umesh Reddy (West Virginia St. Univ.), Amnon Levi (USDA, ARS), Yiqun Weng (USDA, ARS), Michael Mazourek (Cornell University), Pat Wechter (USDA, ARS), and Rebecca Grumet (Michigan State University). In closely working with Cornell Genomic Diversity Facilty, the team has set up the genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) platform for the cucurbit species and have established a GBS data analysis pipeline based on TASSEL-GBS.

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CucCAP researchers identify genetic loci conferring resistance to Fusarium wilt race 2 and Papaya ring-spot virus-watermelon strain (PRSV-W)

Multiple disease screens of the USDA watermelon germplasm collection have highlighted the value of wild type watermelons as a source for enhancing resistance to diseases in modern watermelon cultivars. CucCAP researchers collaborated with Sakata Seed America on generating genetic populations and on conducting genetic analyses to identify genetic loci that confer resistance to Fusarium wilt and papaya ring-spot virus.

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CucCAP scientists co-led the development of an improved ‘97103’ watermelon genome and resequencing of 414 watermelon accessions

Watermelon has been domesticated for more than 4000 years and modern sweet watermelons have been selected to carry large fruits with crisp, non-bitter and sweet flesh. The CucCAP team has co-led an international effort to generate an improved watermelon ‘97103’ reference genome and resequence 414 accessions from the seven extant Citrullus species.

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