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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Genetic Enhancement of Lettuce, Spinach, Melon, and Related Species

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Title: Diversity among melon (Cucumis melo L.) landraces from the Indo-Gangetic plains of India and their genetic relationship with U.S.A. melon cultivars

Authors
item Malik, Ajaz -
item Vashisht, V -
item Singh, Kuldeep -
item Sharma, Abhishek -
item Singh, D -
item Singh, Hira -
item Monforte, A -
item McCreight, James
item Dhillon, Narinder -

Submitted to: Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 13, 2014
Publication Date: February 26, 2014
Citation: Malik, A.A., Vashisht, V.K., Singh, K., Sharma, A., Singh, D.K., Singh, H., Monforte, A.J., McCreight, J.D., Dhillon, N.P. 2014. Diversity among melon (Cucumis melo L.) landraces from the Indo-Gangetic plains of India and their genetic relationship with U.S.A. melon cultivars. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. DOI: 10.1007/s10722-014-0101-x.

Interpretive Summary: India is the center of diversity for muskmelon and its sweet (e.g., honeydew) and non-sweet (e.g., snake melon) relatives. Representatives of three melon groups collected from the Indo-Gangetic plains of India (two northern states Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand), an area overlooked in previous genetic diversity analyses of Indian melon germplasm. Eighty-eight landraces from three melon groups in two subspecies: C. melo ssp. agrestis Momordica Group, and C. melo ssp. melo groups Cantalupensis and Reticulatus were collected from the four agro-ecological regions (six sub-regions) of two. Significant differences were found among the land races and eight U.S.A. Reticulatus Group cultivars for 11 vegetative and fruit traits, including fruit shelf life, total soluble solids, ascorbic acid and titratable acidity, and resistance to Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). The 96 melons clustered into five groups in the NJ tree analysis, and four groups in the FCA analysis, one for each melon Group. Close affinity of the Indian and U.S.A. Reticulatus melons was not unexpected, but it is not clear whether it was inherent in the group and maintained as Reticulatus melons moved from India through Central Asia and Europe to North America, or the result of recent intercrossing of Indian landraces with the U.S.A.-derived cultivars and selection for a broad range of Reticulatus type melons.

Technical Abstract: We report here the first broad genetic characterization of farmer-developed land races of melon (Cucumis melo L.) from the Indo-Gangetic plains of India, an area overlooked in previous genetic diversity analyses of Indian melon germplasm. Eighty-eight landraces from three melon groups in two subspecies: C. melo ssp. agrestis Momordica Group, and C. melo ssp. melo groups Cantalupensis and Reticulatus were collected from the four agro-ecological regions (six sub-regions) of two northern states of the Indo-Gangetic plains of India, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Significant differences were found among the land races and eight U.S.A. Reticulatus cultivars for 11 vegetative and fruit traits, including fruit shelf life, total soluble solids, ascorbic acid and titratable acidity, and resistance to Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). A high level of genetic variability in this germplasm was revealed by SSR analysis (neighbour-joining [NJ] tree and factorial correspondence analysis [FCA]) using 30 Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) loci. The 96 melon genotypes clustered into five groups in the NJ tree analysis: the 16 Reticulatus accessions and eight U.S.A. reference cultivars formed a distinct group; and the 60 Cantalupensis accessions clustered in four other groups with the 12 Momordica accessions forming a distinct group closely related to one of the Cantalupensis groups. The FCA plot largely confirmed the NJ tree with three distinct groups, one for each melon Group. Close affinity of the Indian and U.S.A. Reticulatus melons was not unexpected, but it is not clear whether it was inherent in the group and maintained as Reticulatus melons moved from India through Central Asia and Europe to North America, or the result of recent intercrossing of Indian landraces with the U.S.A.-derived cultivars and selection for a broad range of Reticulatus type melons.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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