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Research Project: Development of Disease and Nematode Resistance in Vegetable Crops

Location: Vegetable Research

Title: Diseases and their management strategies take top research priority in watermelon research and development group member’s survey

Author
item Kousik, Chandrasekar - Shaker
item Turechek, William
item BRUSCA, JAMES - Syngenta Seeds, Inc

Submitted to: Plant Health Progress
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/23/2015
Publication Date: 3/29/2016
Citation: Kousik, C.S., Turechek, W., Brusca, J. 2016. Diseases and their management strategies take top research priority in watermelon research and development group member’s survey. Plant Health Progress. 17:53-58.

Interpretive Summary: Watermelon is an important crop grown for its delicious fruit in the U.S. and in many countries across the world. A survey of members of Watermelon Research and Development Group (WRDG) was conducted in 2014 and 2015 in an effort to identify and rank important research priorities. Diseases and strategies for their management were identified as the most important research priorities. Of these, Fusarium wilt and gummy stem blight resistance were considered top priorities. Survey results indicate that research efforts should be directed towards developing solutions for managing important watermelon diseases with priorities being dictated by regional influence.

Technical Abstract: Watermelon is an important crop grown for its delicious fruit in the U.S. and in many countries across the world. A survey of members of Watermelon Research and Development Group (WRDG) was conducted via email and during WRDG meetings in 2014 and 2015 in an effort to identify and rank important research priorities. A total of 41 members out of more than 100 responded to the survey, but after eliminating entries that were incorrectly filled out, 30 were included in the final analysis. Survey participants were requested to assign a rank from 1 to 10 for 25 listed research priorities with 1 being the most important. Blank columns were provided for write-in priorities. Priorities were partitioned into five groups based on the results of several complementary analysis. Diseases and strategies for managing diseases were identified as the most important research priorities. Of these, Fusarium wilt and gummy stem blight resistance were considered top priorities and were sole members of their group. The second group included bacterial fruit blotch, anthracnose resistance, Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV), fruit yield, improved post-harvest fruit quality, and powdery mildew. Seedless pollination and fruit set, Phytophthora fruit rot, seedless hybrid production, hollow heart, downy mildew, firm flesh and sugar content (brix) formed the third group. A large group of priorities that included grafting methods, various viral diseases and whitefly resistance formed the fourth group. All write-in priorities fell in the fifth group. Survey results indicate that research efforts should be directed towards developing solutions for managing important watermelon diseases with priorities being dictated by regional influence.