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Research Project: Sustainable Approaches for Pest Management in Vegetable Crops

Location: Vegetable Research

Title: Leaf profile: Resistance against whiteflies in watermelon

item Simmons, Alvin
item Cantrell, Charles
item Kim, Seong
item OLANIYI, OMOTOLA - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item Jarret, Robert - Bob
item Levi, Amnon

Submitted to: International Plant Resistance to Insects Workshop Abstracts & Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2019
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The cultivated watermelon (Citrullus lanatus; Cucurbitaceae: Cucurbitales) is grown in temperate and tropical regions around the world. Unfortunately, this crop is a good host for whiteflies in the Bemisia tabaci complex. Damage from whiteflies on watermelon plants results from direct feeding injury, associated mold and mildew, and injury from whitefly-transmitted viruses. Consequently, growers commonly use multiple applications of insecticides to try to address these problems, even though there are numerous negative effects associated with this approach. Host plant resistance would be a sustainable approach. Although there is low genetic diversity in cultivated watermelon, other species of Citrullus (e.g., C. colocynthis and C. ecirrhosus) have wide genetic diversity. Plant tolerance, antibiosis and antixenosis can each play a role in watermelon plant resistance against pests. In addition to identifying non-preference and antibiosis, we isolated several compounds from the wild species C. ecirrhosus for bioassays against whiteflies. Here, we focus on plant chemistry profile in the wild sources of Citrullus genotypes that may be useful for improving whitefly resistance in watermelon cultivars.