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Developing and
enhancing the
genetics of economically-important

Watermelon Research and Development Group

Research Priorities - 2007

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Survey by Steve King and Angela Davis

It is critical for public researchers to address the needs of the industry they work with. While most active researchers believe that they are serving the needs of the industry, an occasional survey can be a useful tool to monitor and prioritize those needs.

A survey was compiled after a discussion at the WRDWG meeting in Asheville, NC in 2006. The survey was based on potential problems to the watermelon industry. The survey was sent to watermelon breeders in private industry and handed out to grower participants at the Texas Watermelon Association Meeting, January 2007. The results were compiled for the breeders and growers separately, and a weighted average was compiled.

Top priorities were as follows:

  1. Gummy stem blight resistance
  2. Efficient grafting methods for rootstock use
  3. Fusarium wilt resistance (race 1, others?)
  4. Powdery mildew resistance (race 1, 2)
  5. Improved pre-harvest fruit quality
  6. Molecular markers for important traits
  7. Watermelon fruit blotch resistance
  8. Whitefly resistance
  9. Improved methods for seedless hybrid production
  10. Improved post-harvest fruit quality

Other research possibilities:

  • Squash vein yellowing virus resistance
  • Firm flesh for cube and precut markets
  • Improved fruit yield
  • High anthracnose resistance
  • Downy mildew resistance
  • Cytoplasmic-genic male sterility
  • Gynoecious sex expression
  • Improved pollenizers for seedless production
  • Potyvirus resistance (Papaya ringspot, Zucchini yellow, Watermelon mosaic)


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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 19 February, 2008