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Research Project: Genetic Enhancement of Watermelon, Broccoli, and Leafy Brassicas for Economically Important Traits

Location: Vegetable Research

Title: Genetic relationships in the desert watermelon citrullus colocynthis as viewed with high-frequency, oligonucleotide–targeting active gene (HFO–TAG) markers

Author
item Levi, Amnon
item Simmons, Alvin
item Massey, Laura
item Coffey, John
item Wechter, William - Pat
item Tadmor, Y - Agricultural Research Organization Of Israel
item Nimakayala, P - West Virginia State University
item Reddt, U - West Virginia State University

Submitted to: Annual International Plant & Animal Genome Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2015
Publication Date: 1/9/2016
Citation: Levi, A., Simmons, A.M., Massey, L.M., Coffey, J., Wechter, W.P., Tadmor, Y., Nimakayala, P., Reddt, U. 2016. Genetic relationships in the desert watermelon citrullus colocynthis as viewed with high-frequency, oligonucleotide–targeting active gene (HFO–TAG) markers. Annual International Plant & Animal Genome Conference XXIV. p1154.

Interpretive Summary: N/A

Technical Abstract: U.S. Plant Introductions (PIs) of Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad. are a viable source for enhancing disease and pest resistance in watermelon cultivars. However, there is information about their genetic diversity and relationships to watermelon cultivars. Genetic diversity and relationships were examined among 29 accessions of C. colocynthis (CC) collected in northern Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Also, among 6 accessions of Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai (CLL), 12 accessios of C. lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. et Nakai subsp. lanatus var. citroides (Bailey) Mansf. ex Greb. (CLC) and PI classified as the desert perennial C. ecirrhosus Cogn. (CE) (Griffin 16945, collected in southern Africa). Twenty-three high-frequency oligonucleotides - targeting active gene (HFO-TAG) primers were used in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) experiments to produce a total of 431 polymorphic fragments that represent coding regions of watermelon genome. The analyses showed closer genetic relationships of CC to CLL than to CLC. The desert perennial CE (Griffin 16945), collected in southern Africa, comprises alleles of CC, CLC, and CLL, suggesting that it may evolved from a common Citrullus ancestor. The CC PIs differentiated into five subgroups, concuringwith their geographic distribution in northern Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Although the existence of reproductive barriers resulting in significant reduced fertility, several of the C. colocynthis PIs, particularly those collected in northern Africa, can be crossed with watermelon cultivars and used in breeding programs aimed to enhance watermelon cultivars for disease or pest resistance.