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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Charleston, South Carolina » Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #432455

Research Project: Growing New Roots: Grafting to Enhance Resiliency in U.S. Vegetable Industries

Location: Vegetable Research

Project Number: 6080-22000-028-22-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2016
End Date: Aug 31, 2020

Objective:
To generate, develop, and test cucurbit and capsicum germplasm for use as rootstocks with resistance to fungal and bacterial pathogens, that maintain or improve overall production and quality of watermelon and pepper production.

Approach:
Pepper, watermelon, melon, and bottlegourd germplasm will be screened in greenhouse and field trials to determine resistance levels and suitability of use as a rootstock. Standard resistance assays for Fusarium wilt and crown rot and other diseases caused by Phytophthora capsici on various cucurbits will be performed. Selection, self-pollinations, and cross-pollinations will be performed to generate desired rootstocks for further testing. Seed increases will be performed as needed to supply cooperators with testable materials throughout the 4 year period. Field studies will be performed at the US Vegetable Laboratory, as well as at collaborating units in Florida and North Carolina. Grafting experiments will be performed in collaboration with Dr. Richard Hassell with Clemson University. Molecular studies will be performed to quantify and qualify infection of pathogens, and determine resistance reactions. PCR-based techniques will be used to verify resistant versus susceptible genotypes of plants.