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Cristina Mallor, José María Álvarez and Marisol Luis-Arteaga

Melon necrotic spot virus (MNSV) has been found affecting melon (Cucumis melo L.) crops. At present the only known resistance in melon is controlled by a single recessive gene, nsv. The presence of nsv in a melon genotype has been correlated with the lack of necrotic lesions on the mechanically inoculated cotyledons. Thus, in a screening program for MNSV resistance, melon genotypes that developed necrotic lesions in the inoculated cotyledons were discarded. However, in this paper we show that some melon accessions mechanically inoculated with MNSV do develop local necrotic lesions, therefore showing the absence of the gene nsv, but fail to develop the systemic symptoms typical of diseased plants under the screening conditions. In some of these accessions the influence of the temperature on the development of systemic symptoms was studied. The results showed that, depending on the accession, temperatures under 25 or 20 °C enhanced the systemic development of the disease. One of the tested varieties, `Doublon', did not develop systemic symptom at any of the tested temperatures (15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 27.5, and 30 °C). In this variety, the lack of systemic symptoms was correlated to the lack of virus infection of these tissues based upon ELISA results. MNSV was not detected in the uninoculated parts of the plant, and seems to remain confined to the local lesions produced on the cotyledons following the mechanical inoculation. Restriction of viral multiplication and/or cell-to-cell movement could explain the pattern of viral distribution in this variety. This reaction was observed in the `Doublon' plants mechanically inoculated with each of five isolates of MNSV tested, including an isolate that overcomes the nsv gene resistance.

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José María Alvarez, Rafael González-Torres, Cristina Mallor and María Luisa Gómez-Guillamón

In total, 139 Cucumis melo accessions were evaluated for resistance to races 0, 1, and 2 of Fusarium oxysporum fsp. melonis and 127 accessions were evaluated for resistance to races 1 and 2 of Sphaerotheca fuliginea. In addition, seven C. melo wild relatives were also tested. Artificial inoculations were performed and plants were scored for presence or absence of symptoms. The screening revealed that sources of natural resistance to these fungi are limited. However, several sources of resistance were found in C. melo accessions. Thus, the accession `CUM-334' from Tajikistan has shown resistance to the three races of F. oxysporum fsp. melonis, behaving similarly to the melon inbred line `MR1'. Two accessions of C. melo var. conomon, `CUM-190' and `Shiroubi Okayama', from Japan, were resistant to races 0 and 1 and twelve accessions were resistant to races 0 and 2. Intra-specific variability for resistance to powdery mildew in C. melo was found to be poor. Nevertheless, six Spanish cultivars and the accessions `TGR-1551', `CUM-313', and `CUM-129' were resistant to races 1 and 2 of S. fuliginea.

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Hela Chikh-Rouhou, Rafael González-Torres, José María Alvarez and Ali Oumouloud

A total of 110 melon accessions with different geographical origins (18 countries) were screened for resistance to Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. melonis race 1.2 (pathotypes 1.2Y and 1.2W) using two artificial inoculation procedures. Twelve accessions showed some resistance to one or both strains. Three Japanese accessions, Shiro Uri Okayama (var. conomon), Kogane Nashi Makuwa, and C-211 (var. makuwa), and a Portuguese accession, BG-5384 (var. cantalupensis), showed the highest levels of resistance to both strains. The remaining eight accessions (all var. inodorus) had some level of partial resistance to 1.2W only. To our knowledge, this is the first time a high level of resistance to F. oxysporum f.sp. melonis race 1.2 has been identified in melon accessions of Western origin. The morphological traits of the 12 accessions that showed partial resistance were characterized to assess their suitability as resistance sources in melon breeding programs. Because most of the Western commercial cultivars belong to the cantalupensis, reticulatus, or inodorus botanical varieties, the resistant accessions from these varieties seem to be the most useful sources of resistance in breeding programs for developing melon cultivars of these types resistant to fusarium wilt race 1.2. The Portuguese accession BG-5384 had a high level of resistance within the Western types, and its morphological characteristics were fairly similar to some of the Western commercial cultivars.

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Mónica Morales, Marisol Luís-Arteaga, José María Álvarez, Ramon Dolcet-Sanjuan, Amparo Monfort, Pere Arús and Jordi Garcia-Mas

The recessive allele (nsv) of the NSV gene confers resistance to the Carmovirus melon necrotic spot virus (MNSV) in melon (Cucumis melo L.). Using an F2 population obtained from the cross between the resistant Korean accession PI 161375 and a susceptible line of `Piel de Sapo', we have mapped the NSV locus to linkage group 11 (G11) of the melon genome. Additional markers closely linked to NSV were developed by bulked segregant analysis (BSA) using a doubled haploid progeny population derived from the same cross. A detailed map of the NSV region was constructed containing 10 markers spanning a distance of 17.7 cM. The nearest flanking markers to NSV were two amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) (CTA/ACG-115 and CTA/ACG-120) and one random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) (OPD08-0.80) separated by 5.9 cM. Two more markers, ACC/ACC-110 and OPX15-1.06, cosegregated with NSV.

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Iban Eduardo, Pere Arús, Antonio José Monforte, Javier Obando, Juan Pablo Fernández-Trujillo, Juan Antonio Martínez, Antonio Luís Alarcón, Jose María Álvarez and Esther van der Knaap

A melon (Cucumis melo L.) genomic library of near-isogenic lines derived from the cross between the Spanish cultivar Piel de Sapo and the exotic accession PI 161375 has been evaluated for fruit quality traits in four different locations. Traits evaluated were fruit weight, soluble solids content, maximum fruit diameter, fruit length, fruit shape index, ovary shape index, external color, and flesh color. Among these traits, soluble solids content showed the highest genotype × environment interaction, whereas genotype × environment interactions for fruit shape and fruit weight were low. Heritability was high for all traits except soluble solids content, with the highest value for fruit shape and ovary shape. Ten to 15 quantitative trait loci were detected for soluble solids content, fruit diameter, fruit length, and fruit shape; and four to five for ovary shape, external color, and flesh color. Depending on the trait, between 13% and 40% of the detected quantitative trait alleles from PI 161375 increased the trait, and between 60% and 87% of them decreased it, resulting in some PI 161375 alleles of interest for breeding. Most of the quantitative trait loci detected in previous experiments could be verified with the near-isogenic line population. Future studies with the melon near-isogenic line genomic library will provide a better understanding of the genetic control of melon fruit quality in a wider context related to agronomy, genetics, genomics and metabolomics studies.