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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Rapd, Issr and Aflp Markers Representing Various Linkage Regions of a Watermelon Genetic Map Are Polymorphic among Closely Related Watermelon Cultivars

item Levi, Amnon
item Thomas, Claude

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 7, 2006
Publication Date: March 26, 2007
Citation: Levi, A., Thomas, C.E. 2007. Rapd, ISSR and AFLP Markers Representing Various Linkage Regions of a Watermelon Genetic Map are Polymorphic among Closely Related Watermelon Cultivars. HortScience. 42:210-214.

Interpretive Summary: Watermelon is a principal vegetable crop grown in 44 states in the U.S. Watermelon production has increased from 1.2 M tons in 1980 to 4.2 M tons in 2003 with a farm value of $310 million. In recent years there is an increased demand for seedless watermelon. Consequently, seedless watermelon production has significantly increased in recent years. Over 80% of watermelons produced in California were seedless, while in the South Eastern states of the U.S. over 52% of watermelons were seedless during 2003. There is a continuous need to develop new seedless watermelon varieties suitable to consumer needs. Conventional breeding procedures aimed for development of superior seedless watermelon varieties involve testing large numbers of hybrid varieties in multi environmental trials. Thus, seed companies have great interest to reduce production costs of seedless watermelon and increase the speed with which superior seedless varieties are identified. DNA technology can be useful in identifying and in selecting superior seedless varieties of watermelon. In this study we developed a set of DNA markers, representing various regions of the watermelon genome that can be useful in identifying superior hybrid (seedless) watermelon varieties.

Technical Abstract: A genetic linkage map was previously constructed for watermelon using a wide testcross population {[Griffin 14113 (C. lanatus var. citroides) x New Hampshire Midget; NHM (C. lanatus var. lanatus)] x U.S. PI 386015 (C. colocynthis)}. Most markers (44 RAPD, 15 ISSR and 48 AFLP markers) unique to NHM and mapped on the linkage map were tested for polymorphisms among 44 watermelon cultivars limited in genetic diversity. Six (13.6%) of the RAPD markers, six (40.0%) of the 15 ISSR markers and 40 (83.3%) of the 48 AFLP markers were polymorphic among cultivars. Most of the polymorphic markers are scattered throughout the watermelon genome. However, some polymorphic markers are clustered together in three linkage regions on the map. The polymorphic markers represent various linkage regions of watermelon genetic map, and can be useful in identifying triploid (seedless) hybrid watermelons derived from crosses between closely related tetraploid and diploid lines.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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