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Developing and
enhancing the
genetics of economically-important

Watermelon Research and Development Group

Report from 2006 Annual Meeting

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Orlando, Florida
February 5, 2006

Benny D. Bruton, Chairman
US Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service
Lane, Oklahoma 74555

[Web Page]

The Annual Meeting of the Watermelon Research & Development Working Group (WRDWG) was Sunday, February 5, 2006 in Orlando, Florida. The meeting was held (8:00 AM - 5:00 PM) in the meeting room Palms Ballroom Salon A (Wyndham Orlando Resort) in conjunction with The Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (S.A.A.S.) and the Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Sciences (SR: ASHS). Please let Dr. Paul Smeal (Secretary-Treasurer) know that we appreciate the support of SR:ASHS. We expect to have an excellent program this year. As per the request of the members, we will meet for a full again day this year.

Minutes (contributed by Steve King)

Benny Bruton called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone and was followed by seed company reports. Brenda Lanini (Harris Moran), Fred McCuistion (Seminis, Inc), Gary Elmstrom (Sunseeds), Jamey Adams (Southwestern Vegetable Seed), Xingping Zhang (Syngenta Seeds), and Don Dobbs (Willhite Seed) gave updates and talked about new releases for their respective companies. These updates and discussions were followed by the following research topics: Don Dobbs, Willhite Seed, talked about Willhite's progress in wilt tolerance; Jonathan Schultheis, North Carolina State University talked about the upcoming Cucurbitaceae 2006 conference; Don Maynard, University of Florida talked about causes of occasional seediness in triploid watermelon; PJ Dittmar, DW Monks and JR Monks, North Carolina State University, talked about the effects of post-application halosufuron-methyl at various percents of coverage on watermelon.

The next topic was statewide watermelon trial reports for 2005, and included a review of Texas statewide watermelon trials by Juan Anciso, Larry Stein, Steve King and Bob Whitney of Texas A&M University; the 2005 Delaware seedless watermelon variety trial results was presented by Emmalea Ernest, Tracy Wootten and Ed Kee from the University of Delaware; an overview of the watermelon variety trials in Georgia was presented by George Boyhan from the University of Georgia; and the Seedless and mini-watermelon variety trials data for South Carolina was presented by Gilbert Miller of Clemson University.

Steven Fore, Director of Research for the National Watermelon Promotion Board, Orlando, FL presented the US watermelon consumer and market trends, which was followed by Bob Morrissey, Executive Director, National Watermelon Association, Plant City, FL, who presented the new outlook at the National Watermelon Association.


WELCOME: Benny Bruton, Chairman, E-mail:


  • **Non-members are encouraged to fill out the forms at the WRDWG Web Site and submit them to the chairman for processing into our database Scientist and Area of Expertise.
  • **All members and interested parties should submit information on: Hot Topics such as new diseases or new releases. Please update your E-mail address and especially phone numbers.
  • Bring CD with PowerPoint

II. SEED COMPANY RELEASES AND UPDATES: Handouts are encouraged!!

  • 8:15 AM *8:30 AM *Harris Moran, Brenda Lanini
  • 8:25 AM *Seminis Seeds, Fred McCuistion
  • 8:35 AM *SunSeeds, Gary Elmstrom
  • 8:45 AM *Southwestern Vegetable Seed, Jamey Adams
  • 8:55 AM *Syngenta Seeds, Xingping Zhang
  • 9:05 AM *Willhite Seed, Don Dobbs
  • 9:05 AM *Don Dobbs, Willhite Seed “Willhite’s Progress in Wilt Tolerance”
  • 9:20 AM J. Schultheis, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC. “Cucurbitaceae 2006”
  • 9:30 AM Don Maynard, University of Florida. “Cause of Occasional Seediness in Triploid Watermelon”
  • 9:45 AM Dittmar PJ, Monks DW, and Monks JR, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC “Effects of Post-Application Halosufuron-Methyl at Various Percents of Coverage on Watermelon”
  • 10:00 AM Break


  • 10:15 AM Juan Anciso, Stein, L, King, S, Whitney, B. Wallace, R. Cox, E, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, “Review of Texas Statewide Watermelon Trials”
  • 10:30 AM Emmalea Ernest, Tracy Wootten, & Ed Kee, University of Delaware, Georgetown, DE, “2005 Delaware Seedless Watermelon Variety Trial”
  • 10:45 AM George Boyhan, University of Georgia, Statesboro, GA, “Overview of Watermelon Variety Trials in Georgia”
  • 11:00 AM Gilbert Miller, Clemson University, Blackville, SC, “Seedless and Mini- Watermelon Variety Trial Data For South Carolina”


  • 11:15 AM Perkins, P. USDA-ARS, Lane, Oklahoma. AChanges in Carotenoids and Amino Acids During Processing of Watermelons"
  • 11:30 AM Thies, J.A. and Levi, A., USDA-ARS, Charleston, South Carolina. “Resistance to Root-Knot Nematodes in Watermelon Plant Introductions”
  • 11:45 AM Taylor, M., Bruton, B., Fish, W., and Roberts, W. OSU and USDA-ARS, Lane, OK. “Economic Comparison Between Conventional versus Grafted Watermelon Transplants”

V. LUNCH BREAK: 12:00 Noon to 1:00 PM


  • 1:00 PM Steven Fore, Director of Research, National Watermelon Promotion Board, Orlando, FL. “The US Watermelon Consumer and Market Trends”
  • 1:30 PM Bob Morrissey, Executive Director, National Watermelon Association, Plant City, FL. “The New Outlook at the National Watermelon Association”


  • 2:00 PM Roberts, P. Adkins, & Bruton, B. D., University of Florida, Immokalee, FL & USDA-ARS. “Watermelon Vine Decline and Fruit Rot in Florida”
  • 2:15 PM Tetteh, A. Y., and Wehner, T. C. North Carolina State Univ. “Screening Watermelon For Resistance to Powdery Mildew Race 2”
  • 2:30 PM Levi, A., Davis, A., Wechter, P., and Hernandez, A. USDA-ARS. “Developing and Mapping Expressed Sequenced Tags (ESTs) for Watermelon”
  • 2:45 PM Schultheis, J. and Anciso, J. North Carolina State University and Texas A&M University. Triploid Watermelon Yield as Affected by Spacing SP-1 at Various Plant Intervals”
  • 3:00 PM Afternoon Break
  • 3:15 PM Jester, WR, Adams, ML, and Holmes, GJ, North Carolina State University. “Comparison of Cultural Practices and Fungicides for Control of Phytophthora Blight of Watermelon”
  • 3:30 PM Kushmen, K, Roberts, P, Muchovej, R, Huan, J, and Williams, T. University of Florida and Syngenta Seeds. “Increased Interest in Grafted Watermelons”
  • 3:45 PM Hassell, RL, Schultheis, J., Jester, WR, Olsen, SM, Maynard, DN, and Miller, G. Clemson University, North Carolina State University, and University of Florida. “Yield and Quality of Mini Triploid Watermelon Cultivars in Diverse Locations in the South East”
  • 4:00 PM Hassell, RL, Schultheis, J., Jester, WR, Olsen, SM, Maynard, DN, and Miller, G. Clemson University, North Carolina State University, and University of Florida. “Inrow Spacing as it Effects Yield and Quality of Mini Triploid Watermelon Cultivars in Diverse Locations in the South East”
  • 4:15 PM Roberts, W, Bruton, B, Fish, W, Taylor, M, Oklahoma State Univ. & USDA-ARS. “Effects of Grafting on Watermelon Quality : Year Two”


IX. Other Business

Dear Watermelon Research & Development Working Group Members:

As a part of the continuing effort to ensure the availability of all accessions in the Citrullus germplasm collection, volunteers are being sought to grow out one or more selected genotypes of Citrullus lanatus (var. lanatus or citroides) in isolation or in a greenhouse environment for the production of pure seed for return to the germplasm repository where it will be maintained and distributed. Anyone willing to assist in this endeavor should contact Bob Jarret at (Tel: 770-228-7303).


Please let Brenda Lanini know that we appreciate Harris Moran for providing the refreshments for the 2006 Annual Meeting. Thanks Brenda and Harris Moran!


  • Harris Moran: Orlando, Florida - 2006
  • Syngenta Seeds: Little Rock, Arkansas - 2005
  • Abbott & Cobb:Tulsa, Oklahoma - 2004
  • Seminis Seeds:Mobile, Alabama – 2003
  • National Watermelon Promotion Board: Kissimmee, Florida - 2002
  • Sugar Creek Seed Inc.: Ft. Worth, Texas - 2001
  • Willhite Seeds: Lexington, Kentucky - 2000
  • Novartis Seeds Inc.: Memphis, Tennessee - 1999
  • Sunseeds: Little Rock, Arkansas - 1998
  • Barham Seeds: Birmingham, Alabama - 1997
  • American SunMelon: Greensboro, North Carolina - 1996
  • Willhite Seeds: New Orleans, Louisiana - 1995
  • Asgrow Seed Company: Nashville, Tennessee - 1994
  • American SunMelon:Tulsa, Oklahoma - 1993


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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