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Developing and
enhancing the
genetics of economically-important

Watermelon Research and Development Group

Report from 2008 Annual Meeting

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Dallas, TX
February 3, 2007
Adams Mark Hotel -
400 N. Olive St.
Dallas, TX  75201
Phone: 800-444-2326

Stephen R. King, Chairman
Vegetable & Fruit Improvement Center
Department of Horticultural Sciences
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX  77843-2133
Phone: 979-845-2937
Cell: 979-229-8746

The Annual Meeting of the Watermelon Research & Development Working Group will be held Sunday, February 3, 2008 in the Dallas Ballroom D1 at the Adams Mark Hotel in Dallas, TX, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in conjunction with The Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists and the Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Sciences (SR-ASHS). Please register for the SR-ASHS meeting even if you only attend the WRDWG meeting. The meeting room and accommodations are provided by SR-ASHS at no charge to our group. Registration information and hotel accommodations are provided in the SR-ASHS Pre-Conference Newsletter available at the SR-ASHS website ( This year we have the option to pre-register through the ASHS secure website. To pre-register, go to the ASHS web site ( and enter the ASHS Online Store ( In the Categories menu select the link: Southern Region ASHS Online Shopping Cart. You can pay for your meeting registration, annual dues, and ACB Club dues. You will receive a receipt via email. To make hotel reservations, call the Adams Mark Hotel (800-444-2326) and ask for the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists group rate. Note that the pre-registration and hotel reservation deadlines are both January 23.

I am currently developing an agenda for the meeting 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 25th to have your presentation included in the program. As in the past, we will keep the presentations very short and informal. A laptop and projector will be provided, so please bring a flash drive or CD of your presentation. If you have a new or hot topic that you think deserves special discussion, please submit that to me so we can have it on the agenda to ensure we have adequate discussion.

As with last year, you will have the option of submitting an abstract of your presentation for publication along with the SR-ASHS abstracts. Dr. Reed has informed me that one way SR-ASHS is recognized is based on the number of published abstracts from the annual meeting; therefore, having your abstract published is one way to pay back SR-ASHS for providing our accommodations. Publishing abstracts will not affect our meeting or presentation format. Further information on publishing abstracts will be forthcoming.


  • 8:00 a.m.  Welcome. Stephen King, Chair, WRDWG. Brief discussion on: updated membership, website, bylaws.
  • 8:30 a.m.  Seed Company updates, new releases - Handouts are encouraged
  • 9:00 a.m.  Statewide watermelon trials for 2007 - Handouts are encouraged
  • 9:30 a.m.  Mark Arney. National Watermelon Promotion Board. DVD on activities of the NWPB.
  • 10:00 a.m.  Break.
  • 10:30 a.m.  David C. Thompson. Plant Pathology Program Manager, IR-4 Project Headquarters, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Princeton, NJ. IR-4 project to control Fusarium wilt of watermelon.
  • 11:00 a.m.  T.C. Wehner. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. Discussion of the genes of watermelon.
  • 11:30 a.m.  General discussion.
  • 12:00 p.m.  Lunch break.
  • 1:00 p.m.  Research Reports.
  • 1:00 – 1:15: J. Oh and T.C. Wehner. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. Chilling resistance in watermelon.
  • 1:15 – 1:30: J. J. Ariss*1, J. A. Thies1, C. S. Kousik1, and R. L. Hassell2. 1U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, USDA, ARS, Charleston, SC; 2Coastal Research and Education Center, Clemson University, Charleston, SC. Response of watermelon plant introductions to southern root-knot nematode in field tests.
  • 1:30 – 1:45: J. A. Thies*1, J. J. Ariss1, C. S. Kousik1, and R. L. Hassell2. 1U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, USDA, ARS, Charleston, SC; 2Coastal Research and Education Center, Clemson University, Charleston, SC. Is grafting useful for managing root-knot nematodes in watermelon?
  • 1:45 – 2:15: Richard Hassell1, Jonathan Schultheis2, Steve Olson3, Terry Kelley4, Penelope Perkins-Veazie5, Gilbert Miller6, Frederic D. Memmott1. 1Clemson University, Coastal Research and Education Center, Charleston, SC; 2North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC; 3North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy, FL; 4 University of Georgia, Tifton Campus, Tifton, GA; 5USDA-ARS, South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, Lane, OK; 6Clemson University, Edisto Research and Education Center, Blackville, SC. Grafting projects at North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
  • 2:15- 2:30: B. Bruton1, W. Fish1, E. Vivoda2, B. Gabor3 and C. Sandlin4. 1USDA-ARS, Lane, OK, 2Harris Moran Seed Co., Davis, CA, 3Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Woodland, CA, 4Syngenta Seeds Inc., Woodland, CA. Comparison of Multi-Station Fusarium Wilt Studies.
  • 2:30 – 2:45: D.S. Egel. Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center. Managing Fusarium wilt of watermelon with thiophanate-methyl as a drench and seed treatment.
  • 2:45 – 3:00: B. Bruton1 and P. Roberts2. 1USDA-ARS, Lane, OK, 2Univ. of Florida, Immokalee, FL. Cucurbit Yellow Vine Disease Discovered in Florida.
  • 3:00 – 3:30: Break
  • 3:30 – 3:45: Scott Adkins1, Chandrasekar S. Kousik2, Susan E. Webb3, Carlye A. Baker4 and William W. Turechek1 . 1USDA, ARS, Fort Pierce, FL, 2USDA, ARS, Charleston, SC, 3University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 4FDACS-DPI, Gainesville, FL. Plant reservoirs of Squash vein yellowing virus, causal agent of viral watermelon vine decline, and other whitefly-transmitted cucurbit viruses in Florida.
  • 3:45 – 4:00: W.W. Turechek1, S.T. Adkins1, C.S. Kousik2, P.A. Stansly3, and P.D. Roberts3. 1USDA, ARS Ft. Pierce, FL,  2USDA, ARS Charleston, SC, 3University of Florida, SWFERC, Immokalee, FL. Patterns of multiviral infections of watermelon at the plant and field levels in Florida.
  • 4:00 – 4:15: C.S. Kousik1, S. Adkins2, W.W. Turechek2, and P.D. Roberts3. 1USDA, ARS Charleston, SC,  2USDA, ARS Ft. Pierce, FL, 3University of Florida/IFAS, SWFREC, Immokalee, FL. Effect of silver plastic mulch and chemical treatments on development of whitefly-transmitted viral watermelon vine decline in Florida.
  • 4:15 – 5:00: Additional Discussion
  • 5:00: Adjourn


  • Seminis Vegetable Seeds
  • Zeraim Gedera

Please let our sponsor know that we appreciate them for providing the refreshments for the Annual Meeting. Thanks!

Past Sponsors

  • Seminis Vegetable Seeds / Zeraim Gedera: Dallas, Texas- 2008
  • 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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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