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

Location: Vegetable Research

Title: Utilizing genetic diversity in the desert watermelon citrullus colocynthis for enhancing watermelon cultivars for resistance to biotic and abiotic stress

Author
item Levi, Amnon
item Simmons, Alvin
item Ling, Kai-shu
item Tadmor, Ya'acov - Agricultural Research Organization Of Israel
item Nimmakayala, Padma - West Virginia State University
item Reddy, Umesh - West Virginia State University

Submitted to: Eucarpia Cucurbitaceae Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2016
Publication Date: 7/16/2016
Citation: Levi, A., Simmons, A.M., Ling, K., Tadmor, Y., Nimmakayala, P., Reddy, U. 2016. Utilizing genetic diversity in the desert watermelon citrullus colocynthis for enhancing watermelon cultivars for resistance to biotic and abiotic stress. In Kozik EU and Paris HS (eds.). Cucurbitaceae 2016, XIth EUCARPIA Meeting on Genetics and Breeding of Cucurbitaceae, July 24-28, 2016, Warsaw, Poland. p. 105-108.

Interpretive Summary: N/A

Technical Abstract: Wide genetic diversity exists among the desert watermelon Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad. (CC) accessions collected in the deserts of northern Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Because of their resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, there can be a viable source of genes used for enhancing watermelon cultivars. Here, we examined genetic diversity and relationships among 29 accessions of CC collected in northern Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Also, we examined their relationships to watermelon cultivars and accessions representing Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus (CLL), C. lanatus subsp. lanatus var. citroides (CLC), and an accession representing the desert perennial C. ecirrhosus (CE). Twenty-three high-frequency, oligonucleotides–targeting active gene (HFO–TAG) primers were used to produce a total of 431 polymorphic fragments representing coding regions of the genome. Cluster and multidimensional scaling plot analysis separated the CC accessions into five distinct clades which is in general agreement with geographic origins. The analyses indicated closer genetic relationships of CC to CLL than to CLC. The desert perennial CE contained alleles present in CC, CLL, and CLC, indicating that it may have evolved from an ancestor common to CC, CLL and CLC. Several CC PIs were identified as resistant to papaya ringspot virus and/or whiteflies and are being crossed with watermelon cultivars (CLL) and the F1 or BC1 seeds are viable, indicating that CC can be used to introduce biotic or abiotic stress-resistance genes into cultivated watermelon.