Watermelon

watermelons

Image provided by Cecilia McGregor, University of Georgia.

Watermelon is an important crop for human consumption with global production of 105 million tons in 2012 (FAOSTAT). China is the largest producer with 70 million tons (66.43% of total global production). In the U.S., the fresh market value was approximately $460 million in 2014, with production of over 1.45 billion kg grown on over 48,000 hectares (USDA Economic Research Service). Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, and California are the major watermelon-producing states and account for about 44 percent of US watermelon production. Since the early years of the 21st century, seedless watermelons (triploid hybrid cultivars) have been the primary type grown commercially for the U.S. market (United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service 2016), accounting for 85 percent of total watermelon shipments in the United States in 2014. However, seeded (diploid) watermelons are still produced and consumed throughout the world, mainly in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America. Because of the high cost of the seed and the difficulty in establishing a stand, seedless watermelon plants are traditionally transplanted into the field, as opposed to direct seeding. Priority diseases identified by US watermelon producers include: fusarium wilt, gummy stem blight, phytophtora fruit rot, powdery mildew, cucumber green mottle mosaic virus and the watermelon strain of papaya ringspot virus.


Watermelon Disease Management

Breeding Watermelon for Disease Resistance


plants with watermelons

Image provided by Cecilia McGregor. University of Georgia.

Watermelon Team

Publications

  • Adams, M., C. H. Parada, and L. M. Quesada-Ocampo. 2017. Evaluation of fungicides for control of Phytophthora fruit rot of watermelon. Kinston 2016. Plant Disease Management Report. 11:V111
  • Branham, S.E., A. Levi, M.W. Farnham, and W.P. Wechter. 2016. A GBS‑SNP‑based linkage map and quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with resistance to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Niveum race 2 identified in Citrullus lanatus var. citroides. Theor Appl Genet DOI 10.1007/s00122-016-2813-0
  • Kousik, C.S., J. Brusca, and W.W. Turechek. 2016. Diseases and disease management strategies take top research priority in the Watermelon Research and Development Group members survey (2014 to 2015). Plant Health Progress. 17:53-58.
  • Kousik, C.S. and J.L. Ikerd. 2016. Evaluation of watermelon varieties for tolerance to powdery mildew and Phytophthora fruit rot. 2014.  Plant Disease Management Report. 10:V082
  • Kousik, C.S., and J.L. Ikerd. 2016. Evaluation of fungicide rotations for management of Phytophthora fruit rot of watermelon, 2015. Plant Disease Management Report. 10:V083
  • Levi, A., A. Simmons, K. Ling, Y. Tadmor, P. Nimmakayala, and U.K. Reddy. 2016. Utilizing Genetic Diversity in the Desert Watermelon Citrullus colocynthis for Enhancing Watermelon Cultivars for Resistance to Biotic and Abiotic Stress. p. 105-108. In E.U.
  • Levi, A., J. Coffey, L.M. Massey, N. Guner, E. Oren, Y. Tadmor, and K.S. Ling. 2016. Resistance to papaya ringspot virus-watermelon strain (PRSV-W) in the desert watermelon Citrullus colocynthis. HortScience 51:4–7.
  • Levi, A., R.K. Harris-Shultz, and K. Ling. 2016. USVL-370, a Zucchini yellow mosaic virus–resistant Watermelon Breeding Line. HortScience 51:107–109.
  • Ma, S. and T. C. Wehner. 2015. Flowering stage resistance to bacterial fruit blotch in the watermelon germplasm collection. Crop Science 55: 727-736.
  • Mandal, M.K., J.L. Ikerd, A. Soorni, and C.S. Kousik. 2016. Molecular dissection of resistance signaling in watermelon fruit through transcriptomic approach. Phytopathology S4.153 (Abstract)
  • Miller, N.F., and L.M. Quesada-Ocampo. 2017. Evaluation of fungicides for control of Fusarium wilt of watermelon, Salisbury, NC, 2015. Plant Disease Management Report. 11:V134
  • Miller, N.F., and L.M. Quesada-Ocampo. 2017. Evaluation of fungicides for Fusarium wilt of watermelon, Salisbury, NC, 2016. Plant Disease Management Report. 11:V135
  • Natwick, E., M.I. Lopez, W.M. Wintermantel, J.D. McCreight, O. Batuman, and R.L. Gilbertson. 2016. Watermelon whitefly insecticide efficacy trial, 2015. Arthropod Management Tests (2016) 41 (1): tsw088. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/amt/tsw088
  • Niu, X., X. Zhao, K. Ling, A. Levi, Y. Sun, and M. Fan.  2016. The FonSIX6 gene acts as an avirulence effector in the Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum – watermelon pathosystem. Nature Scientific Reports 6:28146 DOI: 10.1038/srep28146
  • Noel,N., and L. M. Quesada-Ocampo. 2017. Tolerance of watermelon lines to cucurbit anthracnose, 2016. Plant Disease Management Report. 11:V062
  • Schultheis, J.R. and W.B. Thompson. 2016. Watermelon cultivar yield and quality trial results, North Carolina, 2015. HortScience. 51(9):S37
  • Schultheis, J.R. and W.B. Thompson. 2016. Watermelon yield and fruit size response to grafted versus non-grafted transplants in plasticulture and bare ground production systems. HortScience. 51(9):S38
  • Thies, J.A., J.J. Ariss, C.S. Kousik, R.L. Hassell, and A. Levi. 2016. Resistance to Southern Root-knot Nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) in Wild Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. citroides) Populations. Journal of Nematology 48:14–19.
  • Wechter, W.P., M.M. McMillan, M.W. Farnham, and A. Levi. 2016. Watermelon germplasm lines USVL246-FR2 and USVL252-FR2 tolerant to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum race 2. HortScience 51:1065-1067.

Presentations

  • Adams M.L. and L.M. Quesada-Ocampo. 2016. Managing fungal diseases in cucurbits. NC Watermelon Convention. Wrightsville Beach, SC, Mar.
  • Bertucci, M.B., K.M. Jennings, D.W. Monks, J.R. Schultheis, W.B. Thompson, F.W. Louws, D.L. Jordan, N.A. Basinger, S.C. Smith, and M.D. Waldschmidt. 2017. Early season crop development, yield, and fruit quality of standard and mini watermelons grafted to several cucurbit rootstocks. Watermelon Research Group, Mobile, AL. Feb.
  • Bertucci, M., K. Jennings, D. Monks, D. Jordan, F. Louws, and J. Schultheis. 2015. Competitiveness of grafted watermelon plants versus non-grafted watermelon plants at various times of weedy and weed-free intervals. 30th Annual Southeast Vegetable and Fruit Expo. Myrtle Beach, SC. Dec.
  • Fei, Z. 2017. Genome variation elucidates evolution and domestication of fruit ripening and quality traits in watermelon. PAG. January, 2017
  • Kousik, C.S. 2017. Chaired and organized Watermelon Research and Development Group meeting. Mobile, AL. Feb.  over 65 attendees. (38 talks)
  • Kousik, C.S., J.L. Ikerd, and M.K. Mandal. 2016.  Breadth of resistance of Phytophthora fruit rot resistant watermelon germplasm to Phytophthora capsici isolates from across United States of America.  Phytopathology S4.40 (Abstract)
  • Kousik C.S., D. Egel, P. Ji, and L.M Quesada-Ocampo. 2016. Fungicide rotation schemes and Melcast for managing Phytophthora fruit rot of watermelon in Southeastern United States. Phytopathology. (Abstract)
  • Kousik, C.S. 2016. Progress and challenges in managing Phytophthora fruit rot of watermelon. Indiana Horticultural Congress, Indianapolis, IN. January. 45 attendees (at the talk).
  • Kousik, C.S. 2016. Managing Phytophthora fruit rot of watermelon. Georgia Watermelon Association, St. Simmons, GA. January. Over 100 attendees.
  • Kousik, C.S. 2016. Breadth of Resistance of USVL Developed Phytophthora Fruit Rot Resistant Germplasm Lines to Phytophthora capsici Isolates from Across USA. Watermelon Research and Development Group meeting. San Antonio, TX. Feb. over 50 attendees.
  • Kousik, C.S. 2016. Chaired and organized Watermelon Research and Development Group meeting. San Antonio, TX. Feb over 50 attendees. (26 talks)
  • Kousik, C.S. 2016. Progress and challenges in managing Phytophthora fruit rot of watermelon. U.S. Vegetable Laboratory Seminar. Charleston, SC. March
  • Kousik, C.S., J. Pingsheng, and L.M Quesada-Ocampo. 2015.  Fungicide rotation schemes for managing Phytophthora fruit rot of watermelon across Southeastern United States (NC, SC, GA). International soilborne Oomycete conference, Duck Key, FL. December
  • Levi, A., S. Steck, M. Horry, R.L. Jarret, P. Wechter, S. Kousik, B. Ward, G. Miller, R. Hassell, and A. Keinath. 2017. An overall small root system in watermelon cultivars indicates a need to improve their lateral fibrous root capacity. Presented at the Watermelon Research and Development Group meeting. Mobile, AL. Feb.
  • Levi, A., A. Simmons, K. Ling, Y. Tadmor, P. Nimmakayala, and U.K. Reddy. 2016. Utilizing Genetic Diversity in the Desert Watermelon Citrullus colocynthis for Enhancing Watermelon Cultivars for Resistance to Biotic and Abiotic Stress. p. 105-108. In E.U. Kozik and H.S. Paris (eds). Cucurbitaceae 2016, XIth EUCARPIA Meeting on Genetics and Breeding of Cucurbitaceae, Warsaw, Poland.
  • Mandal, M.K., C.S. Kousik, and B. Ward. 2016. Molecular Dissection of Resistance Signaling in Watermelon fruit through Metabolomics and Transriptomic Approach. Watermelon Research and Development Group meeting. San Antonio, TX. Feb. over 50 attendees.
  • Mandal, M.K., J.L. Ikerd, , S.  Shrestha, A. Battiste,  A. Boroujerdi, B. Ward, C.S.  Kousik 2017.  1H NMR and HPLC-based metabolite profiling of watermelon varieties. Presented at the Watermelon Research and Development Group meeting. Mobile, AL. Feb.
  • McGregor, C.E. 2016. Advances in Watermelon Breeding. Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference, 8-10 January 2016, Savannah, GA.
  • Miller, N., M. Adams, and L.M. Quesada-Ocampo. 2017. Evaluation of a new fungicide for management of Fusarium wilt of watermelon. Watermelon Research Group. Mobile, AL, Feb.
  • Miller N.F. and L.M. Quesada-Ocampo 2016. Evaluation of a new fungicide for management of Fusarium wilt of watermelon. NCSU Masters Symposium, Raleigh, NC, Nov.
  • Miller N.F. and L.M. Quesada-Ocampo 2015. New control options for Fusarium wilt in watermelon. 30th Annual Southeast Vegetable and Fruit Expo. Myrtle Beach, NC, Dec.
  • Schultheis, J.R. and K.D. Starke. 2017. Pollenizer placement considerations effects on watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) yield and quality. Watermelon Research Group, Mobile, AL. Feb.
  • Schultheis, J.R. 2016. Grafted vs. nongrafted watermelon studies. NC Watermelon Convention. Wrightsville Beach, NC, Mar.
  • Schultheis, J.R. and W.B. Thompson. 2016. Watermelon cultivar yield and quality trial results, North Carolina, 2015. Watermelon Research Group, San Antonio, TX, Feb.
  • Schultheis, J.R. and W.B. Thompson. 2016. Watermelon yield and fruit size response to grafted versus non-grafted transplants in plasticulture and bare ground production systems. Watermelon Research Group, San Antonio, TX, Feb.
  • Schultheis, J.R. and S. Johnson. 2015. Grafted versus nongrafted watermelon studies using bare ground or plasticulture production methods. 30th Annual Southeast Vegetable and Fruit Expo. Myrtle Beach, SC. Dec.
  • Starke, K.D. and J.R. Schultheis. 2016. Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) yield and quality response to grafted versus non-grafted plants, 2016. Watermelon Research Group, Mobile, AL. February 2017.
  • Starke, K.D., B. Thompson, C. Jiang, and J. Schultheis. Planting density influences mini-watermelon yield and quality. 2016. VII International Symposium on Seed, Transplant and Stand Establishment of Horticultural Crops, Pretoria, South Africa, September 2016.
  • Quesada-Ocampo L. M. Downy mildew and Phytophthora control in cucurbits. 2016. NC Watermelon Convention. Wrightsville Beach, NC, Mar.
  • Wechter, W.P., S.E. Branham, S. Lambel, N. Guner, and A. Levi. 2017. Towards the identification of quantitative trait loci and development of molecular markers linked to Fusarium wilt resistance in watermelon. Presented at the Watermelon Research and Development Group meeting. Mobile, AL. Feb.