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Title: Development and field evaluation of multiple virus-resistant bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria)

item Ling, Kai-Shu
item Levi, Amnon
item Adkins, Scott
item Kousik, Chandrasekar - Shaker
item MILLER, G - Clemson University
item HASSELL, RICHARD - Clemson University
item KEINATH, A - Clemson University

Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/14/2013
Publication Date: 7/10/2013
Citation: Ling, K., Levi, A., Adkins, S.T., Kousik, C.S., Miller, G., Hassell, R.L., Keinath, A.P. 2013. Development and field evaluation of multiple virus-resistant bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria). Plant Disease. 97:1057-1062.

Interpretive Summary: Watermelon, an important vegetable fruit crop, is grown in nearly 100 countries around the world. The U.S. is ranked fifth in world watermelon production, with fresh market values over $434 million in 2006. Virus diseases are one of the major production limiting factors to watermelon production. Several aphid-transmitted viruses, including papaya ringspot virus watermelon strain (PRSV-W), watermelon mosaic virus (WMV) and zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), are the most prevalent and widespread throughout cucurbit growing regions around the world. In recent years, another virus in the Family of Potyviradae, a whitefly-transmitted squash vein yellowing virus (SqVYV), was identified as the causal agent for the watermelon vine decline disease in Florida. Planting disease resistant cultivars, if available, is one of the most effective means of viral disease management. However, traditional plant breeding is a long process. Grafting watermelon to bottle gourd or other cucurbit rootstocks has become an important part of vegetable production in many Asian countries to manage biotic and abiotic stresses. However, the current commercial watermelon rootstocks are susceptible to one or more virus infections. We previously identified a number of accessions of bottle gourd germplasm with resistance to ZYMV. In the present study, we evaluated several selected lines for resistance to four of the above-mentioned viruses in the greenhouse and confirmed their field performance for virus resistance in separate locations in South Carolina. These advanced lines with broad spectrum virus resistance could be useful materials for plant breeders to develop superior bottle gourd varieties that are useful as watermelon rootstocks or even as a specialty vegetable. Moreover, the broad spectrum virus-resistant bottle gourd could potentially serve as a model system to study mechanisms of virus resistance in other cucurbits.

Technical Abstract: In an effort to develop bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) as a widely adapted rootstock for watermelon grafting, we were interested in selecting lines with broad resistance to several economically important cucurbit viruses in the United States. Preliminary analysis under greenhouse conditions indicated that the currently available commercial watermelon rootstocks were either susceptible or partially resistant to one or more viruses. However, in greenhouse screening, several selected lines of bottle gourd displayed broad spectrum resistance to four viruses tested, including zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), watermelon mosaic virus (WMV), papaya ringspot virus watermelon strain (PRSV-W) and squash vein yellowing virus (SqVYV). This horizontal virus resistance was confirmed through field trials in two consecutive years at two different locations in South Carolina. Two advanced lines (USVL#1-8 and USVL#5-5) with broad spectrum virus resistance were developed, which could be useful materials for watermelon rootstock development.