Melon

melons

Image provided by Jonathan Schultheis, NC State University.

Melon (Cucumis melo L.) is a highly polymorphic cucurbit prized around the world for its sweet, juicy fruit that are consumed fresh. Melon fruits are harvested immature in many areas for use as a fresh or cooked vegetable. Melon fruit are commonly dried in the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Fruit may also be processed for juice and flavoring, and melon seeds are a source of high-quality cooking oil and high protein seed meal.

Total melon production by ninety-seven countries was estimated at 44.4M tonnes in 2014 (FAOSTAT). Production ranged from 15 tonnes (Switzerland) to 14.8M tonnes (China). U.S. production was estimated at 787,030 tonnes in 2014.

Melons are important in local, national and international trade. In the U.S., melons are consumed fresh. California and Arizona dominate U.S. production for shipment throughout the country, but delicious melons are also produced in season in many parts of the country. Orange flesh cantaloupe and greenflesh honeydew are the predominant melon types grown. Limited arrays of “specialty” melons (e.g., Casaba, Santa Claus) can be found in many markets, while central Asian (short and long shelf life types) and Korean (‘Sprite’) types may be available seasonally in ethnic markets.

view of melon field

Melon fields in California’s Imperial valley. Image provided by Jim McCreight, USDA-ARS.

Industry stakeholders identified Powdery mildew, Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), and Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV) virus as major disease threats to melon production. Though Downy mildew, Fusarium wilt, Gummy stem blight, and Phytophthora rot are considered priority diseases for growers of other cucurbits, these diseases are also of concern for melon growers.


Melon Disease Management

Breeding Melon for Disease Resistance


Melon Team

plants with melons

Immature melon. Image provided by Jim McCreight, USDA-ARS, CA.

Publications

  • Daley, J., S. Branham, A. Levi, R. Hassell, and P. Wechter. 2017. Mapping resistance to Alternaria cucumerina in Cucumis melo. Phytopathology. DOI 10.1094/PHYTO-06-16-0246-R
  • Daley, J., S. Branham, A. Levi, R. Hassell, and P. Wechter. 2017. Mapping resistance to Alternaria cucumerina in muskmelon. Plant and Animal Genome XXV Conference. https://pag.confex.com/pag/xxv/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/25467
  • McCreight, J.D., W.M. Wintermantel, and E.T. Natwick. 2017. Host plant resistance in melon to sweetpotato whitefly in California and Arizona. Acta Hort. (in Press).
  • McCreight, J.D., W.M. Wintermantel, E.T. Natwick, J.W. Sinclair, K.M. Crosby, and M.L. Gómez-Guillamón. 2017. Recessive resistance to Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus in melon TGR 1551. Acta Hort. (In Press).
  • Nimmakayala, P., Y. Tomason, V.L. Abburi, A. Alvarado, T. Saminathan, V.G. Vajja, G. Salazar, G. Panicker, A. Levi, W.P. Wechter, J.D. McCreight, A. Korol, Y. Ronin, J. Garcia-Mas, and U.K. Reddy. 2016. Genome-Wide Differentiation of Various Melon Horticultural Groups for Use in GWAS for Fruit Firmness and Construction of a High Resolution Genetic Map. Frontiers in Plant Science 22  September 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.01437
  • Sabanadzovic, S., R. Valverde, J.D. McCreight, W.M. Wintermantel, and N. Aboughanem-Sabanadzovic. 2016. Cucumis melo endornavirus: Genome organization, host range and co-divergence with the host. Virus Research 214:49–58

Presentations

  • Chacko, N.J., B. Mou, and M.D. Coffey. 2016. Powdery Mildew Race Variation in California. California Melon Research Board, Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, Jan.
  • Grumet, R. 2016. Introduction to CucCAP: Leveraging applied genomics to increase disease resistance in cucurbit crops. California Melon Research Board, Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, Jan.
  • McCreight, J.D. and E.T. Natwick. 2017. Evaluation and breeding of new sources of host plant resistance to CYSDV and sweetpotato whitefly biotype B. California Melon Research Board, Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, Jan. 4, 2017.
  • McCreight, J.D., W.M. Wintermantel, and E.T. Natwick. 2016. New Sources of Resistance to CYSDV in Melon, p. 61–65. In: E.U. Kozik, and H.S. Paris (eds.). Cucurbitaceae 2016, XIth Eucarpia Meeting on Genetics and Breeding of Cucurbitaceae, Warsaw, Poland.
  • McCreight, J.D., W.M. Wintermantel, and E.T. Natwick. 2016. Expression of Host Plant Resistance in Melon to Sweetpotato Whitefly in the Desert Southwest United States. XXV International Congress of Entomology, Orlando, FL, Sep. (Abstract)
  • McCreight, J.D. and E.T. Natwick. 2016. Evaluation and Breeding of New Sources of Host Plant Resistance to CYSDV and Sweetpotato Whitefly biotype B. California Melon Research Board, Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, Jan.
  • McCreight, J.D., W.M. Wintermantel, and E.T. Natwick. 2015. Evaluations of melon germplasm reported to exhibit host plant resistance to sweetpotato whitefly. Entomological Society of America, Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, Nov. (Abstract)
  • McCreight, J.D. 2015. Melon Host Plant Resistance to Powdery Mildew and CYSDV. Fall Desert Crops workshop, sponsored by the University of California ANR Cooperative Extension, Imperial County, and University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Yuma County. El Centro, CA, Oct.
  • McGregor, C.E. 2016. Advances in Watermelon Breeding. Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference, 8-10 January 2016, Savannah, GA .
  • Miller N.F. and L.M. Quesada-Ocampo. 2016. Evaluation of fungicides for management of Fusarium wilt of watermelon. Phytopathology. (Abstract)
  • Schultheis, J.R. 2017. A perspective on melons; some North Carolina cultivar results and some “food” for thought. Eastern Cantaloupe Growers Association. Nashville, TN, 16 Feb.
  • Wintermantel W.M., J.D. McCreight, and E.T. Natwick. 2016. Reservoir hosts of Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus and development of resistant melon. 13th International Plant Virus Epidemiology Symposium. Avignon, France, June 6-10, 2016.
  • Wintermantel W.M., J.D. McCreight, and E.T. Natwick. 2016. Epidemiology of Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV) and associated whitefly-transmitted viruses in the US Southwest and development of CYSDV resistant melon. Paper presentation at 2nd International Whitefly Symposium, February 14-19,  Arusha, Tanzania.