Submitted to: American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 25, 2002
Publication Date: November 16, 2002
Citation: SIMMONS, A.M., LEVI, A. Evauation of watermelon germplasm for resistance to Bemisia. D.N. Maynard, editor. American Society of Horticultural Science, Alexandria, VA. Cucurbitacea. 2002. p. 282-286. Interpretive Summary: The B-strain sweetpotato whitefly, also called the silverleaf whitefly, damages many vegetable crops including watermelon. It causes injury to watermelon crops directly by sucking on the plants and it causes indirect injury by transmitting disease organisms. We evaluated some watermelon cultivars and some of their wild Citrullus relatives as part of an ongoing study to develop pest resistant watermelon. We previously found a few lines of some of the relatives of watermelon that were resistant to whiteflies. Our new tests were done with some wild plant lines which had not been previously tested for whitefly resistance, and tests were done with offspring of wild resistant lines, which we had crossed with watermelon cultivars. We found that the offspring plants and a few of the lines of "tinda" plants (which grows naturally in India) had some resistance to whiteflies. These results will be useful for the development of whitefly resistant watermelon.
Technical Abstract: The B-biotype sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), feeds on and damages numerous vegetable crops including watermelon, Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus (Thrunberg) Matsum. & Nakai. This insect pest causes damage by direct injury and it vectors pathogens to watermelon. As part of an ongoing study to develop pest resistance watermelon, we evaluated selected progenies and accessions of Citrullus for resistance to the B-biotype sweetpotato whitefly. Our previous work was done using antibiosis and antixenosis bioassays while this study focused on antixenosis bioassays. Tests of F1 populations from cultivars crossed with C. colocynthis accessions, which we had previous identified as having whitefly resistance, indicated that the hybrids exhibit whitefly resistance. Moreover, whitefly resistance was identified in a few of the accessions of C. lanatus var. fistulosus. Results from this study will be useful for the development of whitefly resistant watermelon.