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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 13: vi-x (Introduction) 1990


13th Annual CGC Business Meeting

31 July 1989, Tulsa Oklahoma USA

The 13th Annual Business Meeting of the Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative was held on Monday, 31, July 1989, in conjunction with the 86th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Despite being scheduled concurrent with an ASHS symposium on Biotechnology, 22 members and guests were in attendance. Minutes of the 12th Annual Business Meeting were approved as published in CGC Report 12:vii (1989).

CGC Report No.12 was mailed on 3 June 1989. There were 300 copies printed; 216 copies were sent in the initial mailing (compared to 180 in 1988) and, with subsequent subscriptions, a total of 226 copies were mailed as of 19 July. A handout was distributed listing details of the CGC Reports during the period of 1978-1989. All back issues of the CGC Reports were in stock, but inventory of CFC Reports Nos. 1 (1978) and 2 (1979) were down to approximately 10 copies each. CGC had 193 members in good standing, representing 33 countries in addition to the U.S.; there were 20 new members in 1989 as of July. In addition to individual memberships, there were 26 library subscriptions.

Cucurbitaceae '89 - Evaluation & Enhancement of Cucurbit Germplasm - was announced to be scheduled for Charleston, South Carolina, from 29 November to 2 December 1989. A new CGC Coordinating Committee member for watermelon was needed due to the expiration of Warren Henderson's term. The nominations Committee chaired by Henderson and including C.E. Thomas and Gary Elmstrom nominated Dennis Ray (Univ. Arizona) for the position. There were no nominations from the floor and Ray was elected unanimously.

The Call for Papers for CGC Report No. 13 was scheduled to be sent in late August 1989. Submissions in electronic form on floppy disk (in addition to hard copy) would be solicited. The updated gene list for muskmelon (Cucumis melo) was scheduled for Report 13, and gene listings will henceforth carry notations as to which genes are available from CGC Gene Curators. Also scheduled in the near future is an expansion of the membership listings to include phone numbers and cucurbit interests.

Laura Merrick (Univ. Maine) queried the membership concerning information on the state of public sector plant breeding programs. With the recent decrease in the number of public plant breeding programs, many working collections of breeding materials are currently in "limbo." Merrick, who is compiling a mailing list of discontinued breeding programs, cited the examples of the currently inactive Cucurbita working collection compiled at the USDA Brawley station by T. Whitaker, who retired in 1970, and also the still active Lycopersicon germplasm collection compiled at U.C. Davis by C. Rick,m who recently retired. R. Lower mentioned that there were several efforts underway in this area. NBPBGR, under the direction of C. Hess (USDA), has set up a subcommittee headed by W. Collins (N.C. St.) to collect information on public sector breeding programs; questionnaires have already been sent out by the subcommittee. Also, the NAS Germplasm Committee conducts a biennial survey; 1986 data from this survey is currently available.

Jules Janick asked (1) whether anyone who worked with hull-less seed types in pumpkin had any success concerning problems with seed production, seed emergence and consumer acceptance, and (2) whether CGC would be interested in publishing a combined cucurbit gene list in Plant Breeding Reviews, which Janick edits. The later issue will be considered by the CGC Coordinating Committee, Gene List Committee and Gene Curators during the coming year.

1989 CGC Fall Meeting

2 December 1989, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

A special meeting of CGC was held in December 1989 in conjunction with Cucurbitaceae '89: Evaluation and Enhancement of Cucurbit Germplasm (see report elsewhere in this section). This was probably the largest gathering of CC members ever, with over 80 members and guests i attendance. A brief history of CGC was presented as well s an overview of its present activities.

A discussion, initiated earlier in the conference by R.W. Robinson, continued concerning the vulnerability of gene collections by curators and institutions. Placing the responsibility of sole gene curator for a given cucurbit species on one individual is risky should anything unforeseen happen to the curator or his/her program. For example, the CGC watermelon gene collection a decade ago had been destroyed in a fire. It was decided that CGC should seek "back-up" gene curators for each of the species collections. D. Ray questioned whether genes that were no longer available should continue to be listed in the gene list updates for the CG report. R.W. Robinson suggested that we should maintain our current policy, since the old mutations might recur or become available again.

Another point raised was that, since gene curators were involved in collecting, increasing and disseminating gene stocks, should CGC curators be appointed to perform a similar duty with races of known cucurbit pathogens? R. Martyn mentioned that race collections of cucurbit diseases were already available through the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC, Rockville, MD) and that breeders/pathologists should be encouraged to deposit new races with ATCC.

The topic of whether loci identified or developed through new genetic techniques (e.g. RFLPs, transgenic plants) should be included in the gene lists was discussed. M. Havey cited that cDNAs may not be identical to genomic DNA, and that the Bean Improvement Cooperative had been wrestling with this issue for 3 years. A. Morgan testified as to the government procedural difficulties involved in the transport of transgenic lines to sites other than where they were originated.

US Cucurbit Crop Advisory Committee 1990 Update

J.D. McCreight, USDA-ARS, Salinas, CA USA

The Cucurbit Crop Advisory Committee (CCAC) met in charleston, South Carolina, in conjunction with Cucurbitaceae '89 on 29 November 1989. The GRIN database has been updated and made more "user friendly" than before. Users can make queries, obtain output and submit seed orders directly through the user interface or through the GRIN staff. The "Core Concept" proposes creation of a carefully selected subset of the germplasm of a particular species for routine evaluation. NPGS concluded that Core Concept can be applied to some of the larger germplasm collections (wheat) but not to small or incompletely documented collections as exemplified by cucurbits. Rumors that NSSL is full and refusing new accessions are not true. NSSL does, however, have a space problem which the CCAC is helping to solve through elimination of duplicate accessions. Four germplasm evaluation proposals and one germplasm enhancement proposal were recommended for funding in 1990. The evaluation proposals included: Evaluation of the U.S. Plant Introduction Collection of Cucumis melo (muskmelon) for Resistance to Pseudoperonospora cubensis (Downy mildew); evaluation of the Status of Cucurbita Introductions in the National Plant Germplasm System; Evaluation of Disease (Gummy Stem Blight, Root-Knot Nematode, Anthracnose) Resistance in the Cucumber Germplasm Collection; and Evaluating Cucurbita Plant Introductions from Mexico, Latin American Countries, and South American for Disease Resistance. The germplasm enhancement proposal was Germplasm Enhancement in Muskmelon for Resistance to Watermelon Mosaic Virus 2. The major concerns of the committee remained: integrity of the PI accessions, accurate information in GRIN, and acquisition of additional germplasm before Centers of Origin are lost to development. The next meeting of CCAC will be in Tucson, Arizona, on 4 November 1990 from 1 PM to 5 PM in conjunction with the ASHS meeting.

Cucurbitaceae '89: Evaluation and Enhancement of Cucurbit Germplasm

29 November to 2 December 1989, Charleston, South Carolina USA

Conceived by the Cucurbit Crop Advisory Committee (CCAC) two years previously, this conference represented the first time that scientists from each of the principal cucurbit commodity groups (i.e., cucumber, muskmelon, squash, watermelon) as well as CCAC and CGC had met together. Over 120 scientists representing 10 countries and 4 continents were in attendance.

The conference included 16 invited oral presentations and 34 contributed poster presentations. These dealt with topics as diverse as taxonomic considerations in cucurbits, evaluation and utilization of germplasm resources, vulnerability of cucurbit germplasm collections, status and potential for pest resistance, utilization of biochemical and molecular markers in breeding, and the manipulation of cell and tissue cultures. In addition, meetings of the following groups held: CCAC, the Cucumber Breeders, the National Muskmelon Research Group, the Watermelon Research Workers, the Squash Breeders, and CGC. Registrants also had the opportunity to partake in a Plantation Oyster Roast and Shrimp Boil at the Middleton Place Plantation in the wake of hurricane Hugo.

All in attendance received a copy of the proceedings from the conference [Thomas, C.E. (ed.) 1989, Proceedings of Cucurbitaceae '89: Evaluation and Enhancement of Cucurbit Germplasm. 185 pp.]. A very limited number of these Proceedings are still available at the cost of $10 (U.S.) payable to the Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative. Please direct your inquiries to Dr. C.E. Thomas, USDA-ARS, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, 2875 Savannah Highway, Charleston, South Carolina 19414 USA.

1990 Watermelon Research Group Workshop

G.W. Elmstrom, Univ. Florida, Leesburg, Florida USA

The tenth annual meeting of the Watermelon Workshop was held in conjunction with the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists Annual Meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas, on 5 February 1990, with almost 50 participants in attendance. R. Martyn discussed race 2 Fusarium wilt resistance in PI 296341. G. Dull provided an update on the development of non-destructive sugar determination in melons. D. Hopkins described a new watermelon disorder that occurred in Florida and other states in the southeast and midwest. J. Norton talked about the glabrous male sterile gene in watermelon. This was followed by group and individual discussion.

1990 National Cucumber Conference

T.C. Wehner, North Carolina St. Univ., Raleigh, NC USA

At the Cucurbitaceae '89 meeting, it was decided that there should be a national (with encouragement for international representation) meting for cucumber researchers. T. Wehner was elected first chairman of the group, which is to be called the National Cucumber Conference (NCC), and which will meet in even years with the Pickling Cucumber Improvement Committee (PCIC). The usual routine will be for NCC to meet on the Half-day following PCIC meetings in even years. However, in 1990 NCC will meet in Tucson, Arizona, on 4 November (Sunday) from 8 AM to 12 PM. This will occur prior to the start of the ASHS meeting and will allow cucurbit researchers to qualify for super-saver airfare by arriving Saturday before the meetings. In order to keep things informal and to encourage discussion at NCC '90, there will be 45 minute sessions followed by 15 minute breaks (for conversation or refreshments). Each session will probably cover one topic, such as plant architecture or greenhouse cucumber production.

Upcoming meetings of interest to CGC members


Date & Location

Contact Person

Pickling Cucumber Improvement Committee

17 - 18 October 1990
Michigan St. University
East Lansing, Michigan

Todd C. Wehner
Dept. Horticultural Science
North Carolina St. University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7609 USA

National Cucumber Conference

4 November 1990
8 AM - 12 PM
Tucson, Arizona

Todd C. Wehner
(see above)

Cucurbit Crop Advisory Committee

4 November 1990
1 PM - 5 PM
Tucson, Arizona

J.D. McCreight
USDA-ARS, 1636 E. Alisal St.
Salinas, CA 93915 USA

National Muskmelon Research Group

Early November 1990
Tucson, Arizona
(time to be announced)

Perry E. Nugent
USDA, U.S. Vegetable Lab.
2875 Savannah Highway
Charleston, SC 29414 USA

Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative

Early November 1990
Tucson, Arizona
(Time to be announced)

Timothy J. Ng
1122D Holzapfel Hall
College Park, MD 20742-5611 USA

Squash Breeders Group

Early November 1990
Tucson, Arizona
(Time to be announced)

Henry Munger
Cornell Univ., 410 Bradford Hall
Ithica, NY 14853 USA

Watermelon Research Group

Early February 1991
Fort Worth, Texas
(time to be announced)

Gary W. Elmstrom
Univ.Fla., Central FL R&E Ctr.
Leesburg, FL 34748 USA

Home About Membership Reports Gene Lists Conferences Links Search NCSU
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 20 May, 2010