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.
The CucCAP Watermelon team reported on project progress and ongoing research in April 2023.
The CucCAP squash team published 6 journal articles in 2022 & 2023, 7 journal articles in 2021, and 5 journal articles in 2020.
The CucCAP Melon breeding, genomics, and pathology group published 11 journal articles and book chapters between September 2020 and April 2023.
PAG XXIX was virtual. PAG 30 is planned for January 13-18, 2023 in San Diego, California.
Cucurbit fruits come in different shapes and sizes, controlled by genes underlying cell size and number. In a recent study, a team at West Virginia State University (WVSU) identified genetic factors underlying the giant fruit size of the mammoth group of Cucurbita maxima. The study elucidated genome diversity and identified single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers associated with genes controlling fruit size. In addition to the genomic toolkit useful for breeding programs aiming at pumpkin fruit traits, this study provides insight into population differentiation and evolutionary origins of rare variants contributing to the giant fruit size of certain pumpkin varieties.
Watermelon Breeding, Genetics, Genomics, Pathology, and Disease Management Publications & Presentations
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.