CucCAP scientists uncover genetic factors influencing flowering time and fruit yield in watermelon

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.

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CucCAP scientists genetically map novel sources of resistance to cucurbit downy mildew in watermelon

Watermelon crops are increasingly threatened by infection by cucurbit downy mildew. While there are limited sources of disease resistance within cultivated watermelon, Citrullus amarus can be a valuable source of resistances. CucCAP scientists performed disease resistance screening and whole genome resequencing of 122 C. amarus accessions.  Genome wide association analysis of these materials identified several marker-trait associations and candidate genes, providing potential resources for genomics-assisted breeding for resistance to CDM in watermelon.

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