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2012 Report
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2012 Watermelon Research & Development Working Group Annual Meeting

In Conjunction with the Southern Region of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences Annual Meeting


Sunday, February 5, 2012

8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sheraton Birmingham Hotel

Birmingham Ballroom XI

Birmingham, AL

Phone: 205-324-5000

Web site:

Agenda:   Morning Program

8:00 a.m.   Welcome: Jonathan Schultheis, Chair, WRDWG.

8:10 a.m.   Introductions: All in attendance

Marketing and Fruit Quality

8:30 a.m.   Update on promotion activities from the National Watermelon Promotion Board                                           Mark Arney, Executive Director

8:50 a.m.   International watermelon market considerations in select countries

••               Turkey and Italy, Brenda Lanini, Harris Moran

••               Israel, Spain and Brazil, James Brusca, Syngenta

9:10 a.m.   Effects of grafted transplants on postharvest fruit quality of three different seedless watermelon cultivars.  Richard L. Hassell, Clemson University CREC, 2700 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC. 29414 and Penelope Perkins-Veazie*, Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Research Campus, Suite 1329, 600 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, NC 28081 (

9:30 a.m.   Watermelon juice vs. Gatorade: comparison after strenuous exercise.  Penelope Perkins-Veazie*, Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Research Campus, Suite 1329, 600 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, NC 28081 and Andrew Shanely, George Holmes Convocation Center, Appalachian State University, PO Box 32071, Boone, NC 28608  (

10:00 a.m.Break

Cultivar Considerations

10:30 a.m.Delaware triploid watermelon cultivar evaluations and pollenizer cultivar evaluations for triploid watermelon production.  Gordon C. Johnson and Emmalea G. Ernest*, University of Delaware, Carvel REC, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE  19947(

11:00 a.m.Watermelon cultivar yield and quality results in North Carolina, 2011 trial.  Jonathan R. Schultheis* and William (Brad) B. Thompson. North CarolinaStateUniversity, Kilgore Hall, 2721 Founders Drive, Box 7609, Raleigh, NC27695-7609 (

11:30 a.m.Seed Company updates, new releases, etc...-Handouts are encouraged

••               Brenda Lanini, Harris Moran

••               David Shupert, Zeraim Gedera

••               James Brusca, Syngenta

••               Others Company Representatives in Attendance

11:45 a.m.LUNCH BREAK


Agenda:   Afternoon Program

Plant Pathology

1:00 p.m.   Resistance of wild watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. citroides) rootstocks to southern root-knot nematode.  Judy A. Thies*1, Jennifer J. Ariss1, Richard L. Hassell 2, and Amnon Levi 1.  1U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, USDA, ARS, Charleston, SC 29414; 2Clemson Coastal Research & Education Center, Clemson University, Charleston, SC 29414. (

1:20 p.m.   Watermelon fruit age and development of Phytophthora fruit rot on resistant and susceptible lines.  Chandrasekar S. Kousik* and Jennifer L. Ikerd, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, USDA, ARS, Charleston, SC29414(

1:40 p.m.   Evaluation of triploid watermelon cultivars for resistance to Fusarium wilt. Kathryne L. Everts*, University of Maryland, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, College Park, MD20742(

2:00 p.m.   Genetic diversity among Citrullus lanatus var. lanatusand C. lanatus var. citroides PIs useful for enhancing disease or pest resistance among watermelon cultivars.  Amnon Levi*, Judy A. Thies, W. Pat Wechter, Chandrasekar S. Kousik, Howard Harrison, and Alvin Simmons. U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, USDA, ARS, Charleston, SC29414-5334 (

2:20 p.m.   Effect of SqVYV resistant pollenizers on development and spread of watermelon vine decline on seedless watermelon.  C.S. Kousik1*, Scott Adkins2, Craig Webster2, William Turechek2 and Pamela D. Roberts3, 1U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, USDA, ARS, Charleston, SC 29414, 2U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Ft. Pierce, FL 34945 and 3SWFREC, University of Florida, Immokalee, FL 34142 (

Plant Physiology

2:40 p.m.   Impact of pre-plant ABA applications on growth and yield of watermelon transplants. Daniel I. Leskovar* and Shinsuke Agehara, TexasAgriLife Research, Texas A&M System, 1619 Garner Field Rd., Uvalde TX 78801 (

3:00 p.m.   The effect of growth regulator applications and pollen availability on fruit set and hollow heart in triploid watermelons.   Gordon C. Johnson* and Emmalea G. Ernest, University of Delaware,  Carvel REC, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE  19947 (

HOT TOPICS (Discussion)

3:20 p.m.        

••               New Farm Bill, Jonathan Schultheis, reporting for Bob Morrisey

••               Immigration Reform, Mark Arney

••               Harvest Mechanization, Mark Arney

••               Grafted Watermelons, Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Uptake Article & Implications, Penny   Perkins-Veazie

4:00 p.m.   Sharing of photographs; the unusual, or those of interest for informal discussion (All    participants are encouraged to bring 1-3 photographs to share informally with the group. The             purpose is to make all aware of the current problems or issues so that all in attendance can    learn and keep abreast of the newest developments in the watermelon industry.)

4:20 p.m.   Final Business

4:30 p.m.         Adjourn