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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 6:102 (article 52) 1983

Special Invitation

National Muskmelon Research Group - Statement of Purpose and Invitation to Cooperate

Muskmelon research and breeding during the last 60 years have produced numerous sources of disease and insect resistance. Relatively few of these have been used in commercially grown cultivars. The National Muskmelon Research Group (NMRG) was formed in 1978 with the goal of combining these sources of pest resistance into populations which would serve as sources of germplasm for breeding programs.

Two populations were formed initially: the domestic source nursery (DSN) formed from horticulturally acceptable resistant lines; and the exotic source nursery (ESN) formed from crosses of resistant plant introductions and lines from the DSN.

Lines chosen for the DSN were selectively and sequentially cross pollinated yearly from 1979–1981 to maximize recombination of complementary resistance genes. To assess progress in recombination of resistance genes, crosses made in 1979, 1980, and 1981 DSN were evaluated for resistance to powdery mildew, downy mildew, fusarium wilt, gummy stem blight, watermelon mosaic virus, bacterial wilt, melon aphid, pickleworm, striped cucumber beetle and sulfur. In the absence of selection, numerous lines have been found with resistance to powdery mildew and fusarium wilt. DSN lines were selected for population improvement via mass selection and recurrent selection.

The ESN will be selectively and sequentially cross pollinated during the next four years with the objective of recombining exotic resistant genes with those resistant genes in horticulturally acceptable lines.

There are currently 25 horticulturists, pathologists, breeders, entomologists, and a chemist and a statistician in 10 states with nearly equal representation of State and Federal agencies in the NMRG. The group meets yearly to review results and plan for the following year. Membership in the NMRG is open to scientists involved in developing pest resistant muskmelon cultivars.

For further information contact P. E. Nugent, G. L. Reed or J. D. McCreight

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Department of Horticultural Science Box 7609North Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, NC 27695-7609919-515-5363
Page citation: Wehner, T.C., Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative;
Created by T.C. Wehner and T. Ng, 1 June 2005; design by C.T. Glenn;
send questions to T.C. Wehner; last revised on 15 April, 2008