The CucCAP watermelon team published 13 journal articles in 2022, 6 journal articles in 2021, and 15 journal articles in 2020.
CucCAP Watermelon Team
Watermelon Team contributions to the CucCAP grant including, publications, presentations, and updates about the team’s genomic, breeding and disease management efforts.
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.
Early Career Scientist Spotlight | Bidisha Chanda
Before her current position as a Genetic Purity Lab Manager in the Quality Assurance Department at Sakata Seed America, Inc., in Salinas California, Bidisha Chanda worked for the USDA and conducted research for the CucCAP watermelon team at the US Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina.
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.
CucCAP researchers develop watermelon breeding lines with broad resistance to Phytophthora capsici
CucCAP researchers developed 5 Phytophthora fruit rot resistant watermelon germplasm lines with high levels of resistance against a broad range of diverse P. capsici isolates collected from across the United States.
Early Career Scientist Spotlight | Luis Rivera-Burgos
Luis Rivera-Burgos worked on breeding watermelon for gummy stem blight resistance with Dr. Todd Wehner on the first CucCAP project. Their research focused on the evaluation of resistance to Gummy Stem Blight in a population of recombinant inbred lines of watermelon x Citron.
2021 CucCAP Watermelon Team Publications and Presentations
Watermelon Breeding, Genetics, Genomics, Pathology, and Disease Management Publications & Presentations
Watermelon Team | 2021 Progress Report
The watermelon team is led by Amnon Levi. Team objectives are to develop genomic, bioinformatic, mapping approaches and tools for cucurbits, map and develop markers for disease resistance, and introgress, pyramid/stack resistances into advanced breeding lines.