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  • Author or Editor: Melanie McMillan x
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Fusarium wilt (FW) is a major disease of watermelon in North America and around the world. Control of this disease is difficult because the soilborne causal agent Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum (Fon) produces chlamydospores that remain infectious in the soil for many years. Although various levels of resistance to Fon Races 0 and 1 exist in watermelon cultivars, no resistance to Race 2 or 3 has been reported. In this study, we used seed and seedling inoculation procedures to screen 110 U.S. PIs of wild watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. citroides) for resistance to Race 2 FW. Of these 110 accessions, 15 showed significantly higher resistance to Fon Race 2 than that found in the watermelon cultivars Sugar Baby or Charleston Grey as well as in the C. lanatus var. citroides PI 296341 that was reported to contain resistance to FW. PI 271769, another C. lanatus var. citroides that was previously reported as containing resistance to FW, is among the 15 resistant accessions described here. These 15 accessions are potential sources for resistance to Race 2 FW in watermelon breeding.

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