Marker development for fusarium wilt race 1 resistance and quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping of fruit traits in watermelon
Fall, Leigh Ann Marie
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Watermelon, Citrullus lanatus, is a key horticultural crop in the U.S. Development of successful cultivars requires breeders to select for resistance to economically important pathogens such as Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum to produce high yielding varieties, while ensuring that these varieties have high quality flesh that is brightly colored and rich in nutrients to appeal to the consumer. Current watermelon breeding programs lag behind the molecular advances of other crops. Application of marker assisted selection (MAS) in watermelon breeding programs would improve efficiency of cultivar development. Our goal was to facilitate the use of MAS in watermelon breeding programs by developing a high-throughput marker for selection of fusarium wilt race 1 resistance and by identifying selectable genomic regions associated with fruit quality traits. A high-throughput marker was developed for selection of FON-1 resistance in watermelon and genomic regions controlling sucrose and arginine content were identified.