Integrated Grafting Technology to Improve Disease Resistance and Fruit Yield in Speciality Melon Production
2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Identify effective rootstocks for managing Fusarium wilt and root-knot nematodes in grafted specialty melon production in the Southeastern U.S.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Commercial rootstocks, wild germplasm, and elite cultivars of bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria), hybrid squash (Cucumis moschata x C. maxima), winter melon (Benincasa hispida), Cucumis metulifer, Cucumis ficifolia, and cantaloupe (Cucumis melo) will be evaluated for resistances to Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. melonis) and southern root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) and for graft compatibility with melon in greenhouse tests in SC. The five most resistant and graft-compatible genotypes will be evaluated as rootstocks for two desirable melon cultivars (scions) in fields infested with F. oxysporum f. sp. melonis and M. incognita in Charleston, SC. Vine vigor, incidence and severity of Fusarium wilt, and severity of root galling caused by root-knot nematode will be rated, and fruit yield will be recorded.
This research relates to inhouse project Objective 2: Determine genetic basis of resistance to root-knot nematodes in watermelon, identify molecular markers associated with resistance, and develop resistant breeding lines. Ten selected Cucumis metulifer (African horned cucumber) rootstocks were evaluated for compatibility with scions of ‘Athena’ melon in field trials in Charleston, SC. Several of the examined rootstocks were highly compatible with the melon scions. Greenhouse studies were also conducted to evaluate response of selected cucurbit lines against southern root-knot nematode (RKN) in order to identify additional potential RKN-resistant rootstocks for grafted melon. Compatible melon scion and RKN-resistant rootstock combinations will be useful for managing RKN in susceptible specialty melons when grown in nematode-infested fields in the southeastern U.S.