CucCAP scientist Samikshya Rijal is working on watermelon breeding and genetics. Her primary goal is to assist in the development of gummy stem blight (GSB) resistant breeding material.
Bacterial fruit blotch caused by Acidovorax citrulli is a serious disease of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) in the U.S. Currently, there are no varieties resistant to the disease. In a 3-year study, 1452 accessions and cultivars were tested for resistance to fruit blotch at the immature fruit stage, where resistance is most important for growers.
CucCAP researcher Amnon Levi collaborated with other scientists at the USDA ARS to develop a pioneering concept of using big data and computational biology to identify and catalog all of the phytochemicals that exist in edible fruit.
The CucCAP Watermelon team is led by USDA-ARS Research Geneticist Amnon Levi. Co-investigators include Sandra Branham, Cecelia McGregor, Kai-Shu Ling, Shaker Kousik, Umesh Reddy, and Pat Wechter.
We identified QTLs associated with gummy stem blight resistance in an interspecific F2:3 Citrullus population and developed marker assays for selection of the loci in watermelon.
The Kousik Lab published “Elucidation of resistance signaling and identification of powdery mildew resistant mapping loci (ClaPMR2) during watermelon-Podosphaera xanthii interaction using RNA-Seq and whole-genome resequencing approach”.
CucCAP watermelon and cucumber breeder Todd Wehner recently earned a top international industry recognition, Pickle Packers International’s Hall of Fame Award.
In a recent study, CucCAP researchers used a digital imaging technology to evaluate the root systems in 335 watermelon accessions.