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.
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.
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.
SNPS from GBS data of Cucurbita accessions, including C. pepo, C. maxima and C. moschata are made publicly available prior to publication under a data release policy.
The CucCAP team has developed a high‐quality genome sequence for the principal American dessert watermelon cultivar ‘Charleston Gray’ and genotyped 1365 watermelon PI lines maintained at the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System.
Report from Team members: 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), Rebecca Grumet (Michigan State University) on Developing genomic and bioinformatic platforms for cucurbit crops and Performing GBS analysis of PI collections, establish core populations of the four species, and provide community resource for genome wide association studies (GWAS).
Publications from CucCAP scientists Zhangjun Fei and Amnon Levi were highlighted in a recent article from The Global Plant Council.
The CucCAP team, in collaboration with scientists from around the world, has developed the Cucurbit Genomics Database (CuGenDB), which provides a central portal for the research and breeding community to store, mine, analyze, integrate and disseminate rapidly accumulated genomic and genetic data in cucurbits.