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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355319

Research Project: Genetics and Breeding of Lettuce, Spinach, Melon, and Related Species to Improve Production and Consumer-related Traits

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Title: Where in the new melon classification scheme does Cucumis melo ssp. agrestis var. texanus belong?

item Ando, Kaori
item WANG, XIN - Cornell University
item FEI, ZHANGJUN - Cornell University
item Wintermantel, William - Bill
item McCreight, James - Jim

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/11/2018
Publication Date: 11/12/2018
Citation: Ando, K., Wang, X., Fei, Z., Wintermantel, W.M., McCreight, J.D. 2018. Where in the new melon classification scheme does Cucumis melo ssp. agrestis var. texanus belong? Cucurbitaceae 2018, November 12-15, 2018, Davis, California.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Melon, Cucumis melo L., is one of the most important fruit crops worldwide, and is highly diverse for fruit color, size, shape, soluble solids, flavor, aroma, and ripening. Currently, 19 horticultural Groups of melons are recognized based on their phenotype, and flower and fruit characteristics. Wild North American melon populations recognized as C. melo ssp. agrestis var. texanus in 2002 were overlooked in subsequent clarifications and revisions to melon classification. This wild melon is found in southeastern U.S. and Mexico, is weedy and bears many small, non-sweet, often bitter, yellow fruit, and is a potential source of resistances to powdery mildew and nematodes. Horticultural Group Chito (formerly. ssp. melo var. chito), which is found in Central America and Caribbean countries, and texanus have some similar traits, but were considered to be distinctively different based on sex expression, seed and fruit size, and a total of 40 RAPD and SSR markers. Genetic variation among more than 2,000 C. melo accessions in the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), including 44 texanus and 3 putative Chito accessions, as well as heirloom varieties and important cultivars was analyzed using genome-wide SNP markers that were derived via the Genotyping-by-Sequencing (GBS) method. The texanus accessions clustered together, isolated from other Groups in phylogenetic, population structure, and principal component analyses. The 3 putative Chito accessions fell into 2 different groups distinct from texanus, which called into question their putative identities as Chito. Nine additional Chito accessions were, therefore, obtained from M. Pitrat, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Avignon-Montfavet, France for an ongoing comparative GBS and phenotypic analyses with the NPGS texanus accessions in order to more clearly characterize Chito and determine whether texanus constitutes a distinct Group or is a sub-group of Chito. Several of the Chito reference accessions used to delimit texanus were also included in this analysis.