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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Charleston, South Carolina » Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #445087

Research Project: Evaluation of Watermelon and Cucumber Genotypes for Tolerance to Biotic and Abiotic Stress

Location: Vegetable Research

Project Number: 6080-22000-031-016-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2023
End Date: Oct 1, 2026

Overall objective of the project is to identify sources of resistance in watermelon and other cucurrbits (cucubmer, Squash etc) to biotic (diseases) and abiotic (saline water) stress. Other objectives include utilizing resistance in cucurbit genotypes in the field combined with other strategies (cultural, pesticides etc.) to manage major diseases and pests.

Biotic stress including diseases suchas Phytophthora crown and fruit rot, powdery mildew etc. are know to reduce yield and and abiotic stress such as saline water intrusion, cold, and ozone are known to reduce yield and quality of vegetable crops including watermelon, cucumber, squash and other cucurbits. Experiments will be conducted to determine resistance in watermelon germplasm and recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations for biotic stress including powdery mildew and Phytophthora fruit rot. Techniques for phenotyping watermelon and other cucurbits to biotic stress have been well developed and described in many research manuscripts and these will be used. Similarly experiments will be conducted to determine tolerance to saline water in the cucumber core collection maintained by ARS at the Plant Genetic Resources and Conservation Unit (PGRCU) at Ames, Iowa. Genotype data for the RIL lines will be developed by whole genome resequencing (WGRS) of the individual lines (20X). Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) and WGRS data is avaialble for the core collection of watermelon, cucumber and many other cucurbits is available with the cucubit genomics datatbase (CuGenDB). Genome wide association mapping (GWAS) will be conducted to identify potential markers associated with resistance to biotic and abiotic factors.