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Developing and
enhancing the
genetics of economically-important

Watermelon Research and Development Group

Report from 2007 Annual Meeting

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Mobile, Alabama
February 4, 2007

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) will be Sunday, February 4, 2007 in Mobile, Alabama. The meeting will be held (8:00 AM - 5:00 PM) in the meeting room Mobile Ballroom II (Riverview Plaza Hotel) 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. Dave Reed (Secretary-Treasurer) know that we appreciate the support of SR:ASHS. We expect to have an excellent program this year.

I am developing an agenda for the meetings and would appreciate your help. As in the past, we will provide 10 to 15 minutes for each presenter. If you need additional time, let me know in advance and I will try to accommodate. Please send me the title, authors, and institutions by January 29th to have your presentation included in the program. We will need to keep the presentations very short and informal. Bring a CD or Flash Drive with your photos to the meeting.

Dr. Dave Reed has advised me that anyone interested in submitting an abstract within our group can still do so. The abstract should conform to guidelines established by the Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Science. This will not change our present presentation format, but you can still submit an abstract. If you plan to submit an abstract through our group, please submit it to me and I will submit them all together. Dr. Reed also requested that you register with SAAS even if you only attend the Watermelon Research and Development Working Group Meeting. Below is a rough outline of the proposed program. If anyone has a conflict with the general time frames, let me know. If you have any questions or need clarification, get in touch. I look forward to seeing you in Mobile.


WELCOME: Benny Bruton, Chairman, E-mail:


  • 8:00 AM Web page
  • **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


  • 'Hollow Heart' Miller, G. Clemson University
  • 'National Watermelon Association' Bruton, B. USDA-ARS
  • 10:00 AM Break


  • Miller, G. Clemson University, Blackville, SC. 'South Carolina Watermelon Trials - 2006'
  • Group Discussion Session

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


  • 1:00-1:30 PM Mark Arney, CEO, National Watermelon Promotion Board, Orlando, FL. 'Developing Closer Ties Between NWPB and WRDWG'


  • 1:30-1:45 PM Dittmar, P.J., Monks, D.W., and Schultheis, J.R. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. 'Utilization of Diploid Watermelon Pollenizers for Optimal Triploid Watermelon Production'
  • 1:45-2:00 PM Roberts, P.D., Stansly, P.A., Adkins, S.A., Kousik, C.S. and Bruton, B. University of Florida, Immokalee, FL. and U S Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, Ft. Pierce, FL, Charleston, SC, and Lane, OK. 'Management of whitefly populations for the control of watermelon vine decline in Florida'
  • 2:00-2:15 PM Hassell, R.L. and DuBose, V.B. Clemson University, Charleston, SC. 'Assessment of Methods to Graft Watermelon onto Squash and Gourd Rootstocks for Improved Soil-borne Disease Tolerance'
  • 2:15-2:30 PM Davis, A.R. U S Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Lane, OK. 'Advances in Carotenoid Detection of Watermelon'
  • 2:30-2:45 PM Kousik, C.S., Levi, A., Simmons, A.M., Hassell, R., and Shepard, B.M. U S Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Charleston, SC and Clemson University, Charleston, SC. 'Broad Mite (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) infestation and injury in watermelon and potential sources of resistance'
  • 2:45-3:00 PM Kousik, C.S., Adkins, S., and Roberts, P.D. U S Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Charleston, SC and Ft. Pierce, FL and University of Florida, Immokalee, FL. 'Tolerance of Select Watermelon Plant Introductions (PI) to Watermelon Vine Decline in Florida'
  • 3:00 – 3:15 PM Afternoon Break
  • 3:15 – 3:30 Kousik, C.S., Adkins, S., Roberts, P.D. and Hassell, R. U S Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Charleston, SC and Ft. Pierce, FL; University of Florida, Immokalee, FL. and Clemson University. 'Evaluation of Commercial Watermelon Rootstocks for Tolerance to Phytophthora Blight and Batermelon Vine Decline'
  • 3:30 – 3:45 PM LaMolinare, B., Isakeit, T., Davis, A., Liu, W., and King, S. Texas A&M University; USDA-ARS, Lane, OK; Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhengzhou, China. 'Adding Value to Grafted Watermelon: novel benefits and potential pitfalls'
  • 3:45 – 4:00 PM Levi, A., Simmons, A., Lopez, R., Kousik, C., Shepard, M., Jackson, M., Harrison, H., Edelstine, M., Palevski, E. and Tadmor, K. U S Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, Charleston, SC. 'Resistance of Citrullus colocynthis to Whiteflies and Spidermites'
  • 4:00 – 5:00 PM Group Discussion Session


  • 'Hot Topics for Watermelon Research: A Survey of the Industry' King, S. and Davis, A. Texas A&M University and USDA-ARS, Lane, OK.

VIII. REFRESHMENTS: Sakata Seed America

Please let Nihat Guner know that we appreciate Sakata Seed America Inc for providing the refreshments for the 2007 Annual Meeting. Thanks Nihat and Sakata Seed America Inc!


  • Sakata Seed America: Mobile, Alabama - 2007
  • 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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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