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.
Umesh Reddy and team at WVSU and Amnon Levi and team at USDA, ARS used advance genome sequencing technology to study the effect of genome doubling on gene expression in tetraploid watermelon versus their counterpart diploid watermelon parental plants.
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”.