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.
Version 2 of the Cucurbit Genomics Database (CuGenDBv2) is up running. The release note was published in April 2022.
Germplasm collections maintained by the US National Plant Germplasm System and those of other countries are critical sources of diversity utilized by breeders for crop improvement. This review summarizes status of collections and vulnerabilities for cucurbit crops.
Almost everyone is familiar with watermelon, but there is much more to the fruit than being just a sweet summer snack. Its high nutritional value and invigorating compounds have helped make watermelon the third most popular fruit in the world. Join BTI’s Dr. Zhangjun Fei in this Breaking Ground as we discuss how genomics has helped unravel the origin and breeding history of the watermelon, and how scientists continue to work to improve this fascinating fruit.
Watermelon Breeding, Genetics, Genomics, Pathology, and Disease Management Publications & Presentations
Objectives of the team led by Z. Fei are to develop novel advanced bioinformatic, pan-genome, and genetic mapping tools for cucurbits.
The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System maintains a melon germplasm collection from worldwide melon production areas and regions where primitive melons exist. The CucCAP team genetically characterized the collection to increase understanding of genetic diversity, phylogenetic relationships, and population structure of the collection, and to improve melon taxonomic classifications. A core collection was developed from the analysis to provide a public resource for future research and genomics-assisted breeding. Thirty-five morphological characters were evaluated in the core collection to identify genomic regions potentially related to fruit quality and other horticultural traits important in melon improvement.
PAG XXIX which was originally scheduled for January 2021 in San Diego, is officially postponed until January 8 – 12, 2022.