International Plant and Animal Genome – Cucurbit Genomics Session Friday, Jan 12 4:00 PM Organizers: Pat Wechter & Amnon Levi Abstracts Incorporating Fusarium Wilt Resistance into Watermelon Cultivars Using Molecular Tools by: Venkat Ganaparthi, William, Patrick Wechter, Amnon Levi, and Sandra E. Branham Cucurbit Genomics Database (CuGenDB) v2: An Updated Database for Cucurbit Genomics by: […]
Phytophthora fruit rot is a major disease impacting pickling cucumber production for which there are no resistant varieties. Genomic approaches were performed on the cucumber core collection leading to identification and verification of several quantitative trait loci associated with resistance. The results from this work can be applied to future disease resistance studies and to assist marker-assisted selection in breeding programs.
Xuebo Zhao is a postdoctoral researcher in the Fei Lab at Boyce Thompson Institute. The focus of Xuebo’s work is genomics. Her research is to unravel the evolution of Cucurbits using pan-genome.
A super-pangenome was constructed to represent the entire watermelon gene repertoire, uncovering several disease resistance genes that are present in wild watermelons while completely lost in watermelon cultivars.
Researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute in Ithaca, New York, have analyzed genomes of watermelon and its ancestors, revealing traits that early breeders may have inadvertently removed in their quest to maximize the red, sweet, watery flesh of the fruit. Their report appears in Plant Biotechnology Journal.
“The super-pangenome provides a valuable genetic toolkit for breeders and researchers to improve cultivated watermelon,” said Fei. “By understanding the genetic makeup and evolutionary patterns of watermelons, we can develop varieties with enhanced yield, increased disease resistance, and improved adaptability.”
The “super-pangenome” for watermelon and its wild relatives, the researchers hope, will uncover beneficial genes lost during domestication. Traits of interest affect seeds; rind thickness; fruit size, shape, texture, and sweetness; and improving disease resistance, which might lessen reliance on agrochemicals.
Scientists have constructed a comprehensive ‘super-pangenome’ for watermelon and its wild relatives, uncovering beneficial genes lost during domestication that could improve disease resistance and fruit quality of this vital fruit crop.
CucCAP scientists Zhangjun Fei, Shaker Kousik, Cecilia McGregor, Umesh K. Reddy, and Yiqun Weng are on the Scientific committee of the VII International Symposium on Cucurbits. Their specialties include watermelon, cucumber, and genomics.