Submitted to: Proceedings of the Congress of the Entomological Society Of Southern Africa
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/14/2015
Publication Date: 7/1/2015
Citation: Simmons, A.M., Levi, A. 2015. Resistance for watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus) against whiteflies (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). Proceedings of the Congress of the Entomological Society Of Southern Africa. http://www.essa-zssa2015.co.za/images/essa-abstracts-alphabetised-07-July.pdf.
Technical Abstract: The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), is an important global pest with and an extensive host range. Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus) is among the crops damaged by this pest. Host plant resistance is the foundation for the management of crops pests in general. Commercial watermelon cultivars share a narrow genetic base, and they are susceptible to many pests and diseases. Citrullus colocynthis, a wild perennial desert melon species indigenous to arid regions of Northern Africa, the Mediterranean, and Southwest Asia, is a viable source of resistance to insect pests and diseases of watermelon. Laboratory, greenhouse and field experiments were conducted on Citrullus genotypes from different geographic regions for resistance against B. tabaci. We use traditional and molecular approaches to improve the cultivated watermelon against whiteflies and other pest problems. Sources of genotypes that may be useful for improving whitefly resistance in watermelon cultivars were identified and germplasm lines are being developed and crossed with watermelon cultivars.