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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 20: v-vii (Introduction) 1997

20th Annual CGC Business Meeting (1996)

The 20th Annual CGC Business Meeting was held Sunday, 6 October 1996, at the Hyatt Regency Lexington in Lexington, Kentucky, in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Horticultural Science. Sixteen members and other interested individuals were in attendance.

Tim Ng, CGC Chair, presented an update on the CGC membership, and provided detailed information on the CGC Reports. CGC Report No. 19 (1996) as well as the Call for Papers for CGC Report No. 20 (1997). The discussion then turned to the CGC site on the World Wide Web, which had been updated recently with a new homepage utilizing an animated graphic file. Progress was reported as being slow in converting back issue to html format for web posting, primarily due to the need to proofread scanned materials to ensure accuracy of the information. CGC Report No. 7 (1984) was the first volume to have all of its research papers posted on the web, and Tim (who did all of the html-encoding for CGC No. 7) described additional issues which needed to be discussed concerning the archiving of back issues electronically. For instance, species names have changed since CGC was first formed in 1977 (e.g., Luffa cylindrica is now Luffa aegyptica, Cucurbita mixta is now Cucurbita argyrosperma). In old reports dealing with these species, should the web article contain the old or the new species name? Should typographical errors be corrected, or should the article remain the same as it appeared in print? After some discussion, including Mile Havey's (Univ. Wisconsin)observation that he often conducts literature searches using the old species names as well as the original species name be retained in the CGC articles, but that the new species name should be included immediately afterwards in parentheses. There was general agreement that all typographical errors in the original manuscripts should be corrected prior to posting at the website.

Gene nomenclature and the CGC gene lists were discussed next. Harry Paris (Newe Ya'ar Expt. Sta.) had requested that the CGC Gene List Committee consider changing the CGC gene nomenclature rules such that the "+" designation no longer be used. The positive aspect of such a change would be to bring CGC more in line with international rules for designating genes and alleles. Potentially negative aspects were that it might become more cumbersome to list genotypes in research articles, and that CGC might no longer be "in step" with the other crop genetics cooperative rules. Although not at the meeting, Dick Robinson (Cornell University) later volunteered to prepare a memo listing the benefits of retaining the "+" designation; this issue will be discussed further at the 1997 CGC Business Meeting.

Another genetic issue which arose was whether CGC should seek to document cloned genes from cucurbit crops in the gene list updates. While there was interest in maintaining this type of documentation, there was serious concern over the curatory procedures for cloned genes. For instance, Mike Havey mentioned that the NPI collection of cucurbit RFLPs are no longer in existence. The final consensus was that the individuals who cloned genes would be listed as sources of the cloned gene should these lists be developed, and that there would be no designated CC curator for these genes such as there are for monogenic traits. A CGC subgroup will be looking further at this issue over the next year.

Jack Staub (Univ. Wisconsin) raised the issue of whether the "core: concept for germplasm collections should be raised again for the major cucurbit crops. Jack described the work he and Todd Wehner (N. Carolina St. Univ.) had conducted over the years in trying to define a core collection for cucumber, one which would maximize genetic diversity while minimizing the number of accessions in the collection. There was interest in this concept, but the general feeling was that it might perhaps be premature to put the effort into the other crops. Jack and Todd were strongly encouraged to continue their activities in this arena.

An announcement was made of the 1st International ISHS Symposium on cucurbits, to be held in Adana, Turkey, in May 1997. The first circular for this symposium was distributed.

It was then announced that the next CGC Coordinating Committee position up for appointment was for Cucurbita spp. The five members of the CGC Coordinating Committee serve staggered terms of 10 years each, with a new Coordinating Committee appointed every two years on a rotational basis. J. Brent Loy's (Univ. New Hampshire) term expires in 1997, and a new Coordinating Committee member will be elected for Cucurbita at the 1997 CGC Business Meeting, to be held July 1997 in Salt Lake City in conjunction with the ASHS annual conference.


From the CGC Coordinating Committee: The Call for Papers for the 1998 Report (CGC Report 21) will be mailed in September 1997. Papers should be submitted to the respective Coordinating Committee members by 31 January 1998, although late submissions may be considered if received prior to our processing deadline. The Report will be published by June/July 1998. As always, we are eager to hear from CGC members regarding our current activities and future direction of CGC.

From the CGC Gene List Committee: Lists of known genes for the Cucurbitaceae have been published previously in HortScience and in reports of the Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative. CGC is currently publishing complete lists of known genes for cucumber (Cucumis sativus), melon (Cucumis melo), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), and Cucurbita spp. on a rotating basis.

It is hoped that scientists will consult these lists as well as the rules of gene nomenclature for the Cucurbitaceae before selecting a gene name and symbol. Thus, inadvertent duplication of gene names and symbols will be prevented. The rules of gene nomenclature (published in each CGC Report) were adopted in order to provide guidelines for the naming and symbolizing of genes previously reported and those which will be reported in the future. Scientists are urged to contact members of the Gene List Committee regarding questions in interpreting the nomenclature rules and in naming and symbolizing new genes.

From the CGC Gene Curators: CGC has appointed curators for the four major cultivated crops: cucumber, melon, watermelon and Cucurbita spp./ Curators are responsible for collecting, maintaining, and distributing upon request stocks of known marker genes. CGC members are requested to forward samples of currently held gene stocks to the respective Curator.

Watermelon Research and Development Group

17th Annual Meeting

Ray D. Martyn, Chairman

The Watermelon Research and Development Group (WRDG) met in Birmingham, AL on Sunday, 2 February 1997 for its 17t annual meeting. The meeting was held in conjunction with The Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS) and the Southern Region: American Society for Horticultural Sciences (SR:ASHS). Approximately 40 people attended. Dr. Warren Barham of Barham Seeds, Inc., Gilroy CA, sponsored the refreshments at this year's meeting.

I. Research Updates

Tony Keinath [], Department of Pathology and Physiology, Clemson University, Clemson SC, reported on his studies on benomyl resistance in isolates of didymella bryoniae, causal agent of gummy stem blight. In 1995, 85% of the isolates recovered from fields that had been treated with benomyl were resistant to benomyl, while only of the isolates recovered from fields that had not had benomyl treatments were resistant. Protective fungicides such as chlorothalonil were the best at managing gummy stem when applied on a 7 day schedule. Bravo was more effective than Manzate. A 7 day spray schedule reduced disease severity by 19% compacted to a reduction of only 10% when the spray schedule was 14 days. Yield also was increased with either a 7 day or 14 day spray schedule.

Bill Rhodes [], Department of Horticulture, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, reported on pollination studies with triploids. He indicated that bees visit both male and female flowers, but spend twice as much time on triploid male flowers than on triploid female flowers. Since there are about five times as many male flowers vs female flowers on triploids, the bee wastes approximately 10 times as much time on triploids than on diploids.

Ron Gitaitis [], Plant Pathology Department, University of Georgia, Coastal Plain Experiment STation, Tifton GA, discussed his research on the use of immuno-density gradient centrifugation techniques for detection of the fruit blotch bacterium (Acidovorax avenae subsp,. citrulli). The basic procedure is to wash the seeds and incubate the washing with a specific antibody/antigen cocktail and then separate through a silicon oxide density gradient. The Ab/Ag cinokex (band) is eluted and then can be used for POCR amplification with primers or plated onto semi-selective medium for detection.

Frank Dainello [], Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station TX, discussed results from his hybrid and seedless watermelon variety trials. Tests were conducted in east Texas (Overton), north- central Texas (Stephenville) and southwest Texas (Uvalde). They are developing a standard format for reporting results to remove any bias in the evaluations. Approximately 21 hybrids and 17 seedless varieties were evaluated at the three locations. While most individual varieties performed relatively consistently across locations there were some significant differences. One hybrid, 'Big Stripe', was consistently at the top of each location. 'Desert Storm' was another variety that performed well across locations.

Don Hopkins, Plant Pathology Department, University of Florida, CFAREC, Leesburg FL, reported on results of copper spray (Kocide) studies on the control of fruit blotch. Disease pressure and progress was much less in 1996 than in 1995, in spite of an early 4 inch rain. Also, the median temperature was lower in 1996 than 1995. Copper sprays increased yield 2-10 fold over non-sprayed plots. The best treatment was 2 lb copper/week. At that rte, disease was decreased from 32% fruit blotch (no copper) to 10.8 T/A (with copper). Copper will not control fruit blotch symptoms on fruit, only on the foliage. No resistance to copper has been detected yet in the bacterium. Don also reported on the watermelon PI screening for fruit blotch resistance. In 1995, three PIs looked promising and were selfed in 1996. Resistance in 'Zambia' increased from almost none in 1995 (S) to moderately-resistant (MR) in 1996. 'Zimbabue' was rated resistant (% disease) in 1996.

Charlie Graham [], Louisiana State University, Calhoun Research Center, Calhoun LA, reported on the status and fate of the Southern Cooperative Watermelon Trials (SCWT). The SCWT were started in the 1960's and were primarily used by the public breeders. By 1978 there were 17+ cooperators evaluating melons at 18 sites in 12 states. In 1996, there were only 6 cooperators at 4 sites in 4 states. The primary user now is the private seed company breeder and the trials have turned into cultivar trials as opposed to breeding line trials. charlie would like some input as to what direction you think the trials should go. Please respond to him with your suggestions and comments.

Kevin Mataxa [KMataxa] and Dr. Bob Jarret, USDA, ARS, Griffin GA, reported on the regeneration of the S-9 watermelon germplasm collection at the station. There are a total of 1852 accessions, 1500 of which are at the Griffin station. The normal increase protocol is to grow 25 plants in the field and evaluate for Citron-types (Citrullus lanatus citroides) and Egusi-types (C. lanatus lanatus). Approximately 100 cages are required to increase all of the seed lines. This would take approximately 15 years to go through the entire collection. Kevin stressed the need for financial support from the watermelon community to buy more cages and the importance of maintaining the germplasm.

Todd Wehner [], North Carolina STate University, Raleigh NC, noted that he was taking on responsibility for watermelon breeding/evaluation in addition to his cucumber program.

II. Business Discussions

John Cross, Seed Specialists, Inc., Lexington KY, Chairman of the NWS Disease Research Sub-Committee met with us to discuss common and/or over-lapping responsibilities of our respective groups. It was concluded that the two groups serve different functions and perhaps would be best served as remaining separate entities. However, cooperation between the two groups was encouraged and appears to be no problem.

Mr. William Watson, Executive Director, National Watermelon Promotion Board, Orlando FL, reported on the establishment of a Research Evaluation Sub-Committee that was recently set up by the NWPB. A call for research proposals was sent out in March. A total of $12,000 was available to support research on watermelon production problems of imp9ortance to the national industry. A total of 12 proposals were received and three were funded.

III. Sympathy Notice

Dr. James Crall, University of Florida, Leesburg, passed away on 22 January 1996. Jim had a very long and distinguished career at the Leesburg Station developing and releasing numerous watermelon varieties. We wish his family all the best.

IV. Next Year's Meeting

Next year's meeting will be at Little Rock, AR, in conjunction with SR:ASHS, on 31 January - 4 February 1998.

1997 Pickling Cucumber Improvement Committee (PCIC) Meeting

28-29 October 1997

Ed Kee, Chair

The 1997 PCIC Meeting will be held in conjunction with the Pickle Packers International (PPI) Annual Meeting & Trade Show, to be held 28-30 October 1997 at Bally's Hotel and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada USA. PCIC will meet on Tuesday, 28 October, from 1:00-5:00 p.m., and continue on Wednesday, 29 October, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

PCIC is welcoming contributed papers for this meeting. Each presentation will be allotted 15 minutes: 12 minutes for the presentation and 3 minutes for questions. Abstracts should be no longer than one page and should be submitted by hardcopy and, if possible, on disk in either WordPerfect 6.0 or 6.1 format. Abstracts should be sent by 1 October 1997 to: Ed Kee, PCIC Chair, University of Delaware, ED6 Box 48, Georgetown DE 19947 USA (Phone: 302/856-7303).

In addition to the contributed paper sessions, a panel of growers and processors will meet on Tuesday, 28 October, at 3:15 p.m. to identify and discuss the pickle industry's needs, especially from an agricultural perspective. At the PCIC Meeting last year in Kentucky, the research community suggested that this panel would be useful towards obtaining a more comprehensive assessment of industry needs and enhancing their efforts in meeting those needs.

Information on Hotel Reservations and the PPI annual Meeting will be forthcoming from PPI, or from PCIC (P.O. Box 606, St. Charles IL 60174-0606 USA).

Cucurbitaceae '98:

Evaluation and Enhancement of Cucurbit Germplasm

2-6 December, 1998

James D. McCreight, Chair

Cucurbitaceae '98: Evaluation and Enhancement of Cucurbit Germplasm, will be held 206 December 1998 at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California, USA. Cucurbitaceae '98 will be convened by the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative and the Cucurbit Network. The conference will be organized by ASHS and USDA, and sponsors include the USDA Agricultural Research Service. The Scientific Committee will consist of James D. McCreight (Chair), Gary W. Elmstrom, Laura C. Merrick, Jack E. Staub, Claude E. Thomas, Susan E. Wenn and Todd C. Wehner. The official language will be English.

Rationale. Cucurbit crops (cucumber, melon, pumpkin, squash, and watermelon) comprise an important and varied portion of mankind's diet. Cucurbits have great realized and potential medicinal and industrial value. Economically viable and environmentally sustainable production of this group of crops is threatened by diseases, insects and nematodes, reduced soil and water and air quality, and increasingly stringent restrictions on water, fertilizer and synthetic chemicals, as well as restricted access to and loss of cucurbit genetic resources (germplasm). Our capacity to develop new cucurbits varieties capable of producing high yields of high quality depends upon utilization of cucurbit germplasm. All persons engaged or interested in research in the collection, preservation, characterization, evaluation and enhancement of cucurbit germplasm are invited to participate in this symposium.

Scientific Program. The symposium will address six broad subject areas: Germplasm Resources, Genetics, Breeding, Pathology, Entomology and Production. The scientific program will consist of invited and contributed papers, and meetings of the Cucurbit Crop Germplasm Committee, the Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative, the National Muskmelon Research Group, the Watermelon Research and Development Group and the Cucumber Breeders Group.

Invited papers by recognized authorities will provide overviews and syntheses of recent developments and will be intended to stimulate discussion and exchange of ideas, and new questions for future research. contributed papers will be reviews, syntheses and reports of current research.

Call for Contributed Papers

Titles: Inclusion of tentative titles on your preliminary registration form will aid program development. Titles may be submitted up to the deadline for submission of manuscripts.

Manuscripts: Compiled manuscripts should be submitted by 1 June 1998 in both hardcopy and diskette forms; the diskette version can be in any standard word processing software format. All manuscripts should be sent to James D. McCreight, Chair, Cucurbitaceae '98, USDA/ARS, 1636 E. Alisal Street, Salinas, CA 93905 USA.

Proceedings. All invited and contributed and contributed presentations will be published in the proceedings as full papers. Copies of the proceedings will be included in registration packets distributed at the symposium. Additional copies may be purchased during and after the symposium.

Conference Facilities. The Asilomar Conference Center is a US National Historic Landmark, located on 44 hectares (109 acres) of pristine forest, dunes and beach. Established by the Young Women's Christian Association in 1913, Asilomar, which means "refuge by the sea," has provided groups of artists, humanitarians, educators, youths, and now cucurbit scientists with modern meeting, dining and sleeping accommodations in a dramatic setting at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Pre- and post-meeting accommodations may be available upon individual request as Asilomar or at nearby motels and hotels.

Second Circular. A second circular containing more detailed information on the scientific and social program will be sent on 1 December 1997 to those who have returned the preliminary registration form by 1 November 1997. It will also include a final symposium registration and housing registration form and information on travel and off-site accommodations. If you do not have a copy of the preliminary registration form, you can send or email your request to: ASHS -Cucurbitaceae '98, 600 Cameron Street, Alexandria VA, 22314-2562 USA" ( Please include the following information: name (first, middle, last), address, state (province), postal code, country, phone and Fax numbers and email address. Also, please indicate whether you wish to receive more information, plan to attend the symposium, or plan to submit a paper. (If the later, please indicate a tentative title.)

Upcoming Meetings of Interest to Cucurbit Researchers

Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative (CGC) 25 July 1997 251G Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah Timothy J. Ng, (301) 405-4345,
Squash Breeders Group 25 July 1997 251G Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah Linda Wessel-Beaver, (809) 832-4040,
Pickling Cucumber Improvement Committee (PCIC) 28-29 October 1997 Bally's Hotel and Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada Ed Kee, Chair, (302) 856-7307
Pickle Packers International (PPI) Annual Meeting & Trade Show 28-30 October 1997 Bally's Hotel and Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada Richard Hentschel, Exec. VP, (708) 584-8950
Cucurbit Crop Germplasm Committee (CCGC) 30 October 1997 Bally's Hotel and Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada James D. McCreight, (408) 755-2684,
Watermelon Research & Development Group (WRDG) 31 Jan - 4 Feb 1998 ASHS: Southern Region Meeting, Little Rock, Arkansas Ray Martyn, (765) 494-4615,
Cucurbitaceae '98 2-6 December 1998 Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, California James D. McCreight, (408) 755-2684,


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Page citation: Wehner, T.C., Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative;
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