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Dalia Taher, Mohamed Rakha, Srinivasan Ramasamy, Svein Solberg and Roland Schafleitner

The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, is a serious global pest of eggplants and other vegetables in the tropics and subtropics. The scarlet (Solanum aethiopicum L.) and gboma (Solanum macrocarpon L.) are two cultivated eggplants indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa. In this study, 120 accessions of S. aethiopicum and five accessions of S. macrocarpon from the World Vegetable Center’s genebank collection were evaluated for spider mite resistance based on leaf damage scores and trichome types and densities. The highest levels of resistance were detected in S. macrocarpon accessions VI050393 and VI050444. In addition, two accessions of S. aethiopicum, VI042749 and VI042753, were moderately resistant. All other S. aethiopicum accessions were susceptible or highly susceptible. Spider mite resistance was significantly associated with the presence of type VII glandular trichome, but nonglandular stellate trichomes were not associated with resistance. The resistant S. macrocarpon accessions can be directly used as resistant cultivars or in prebreeding programs aimed at breeding resistant lines of the most commonly cultivated eggplant (S. melogena).

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Narinder P.S. Dhillon, Supannika Sanguansil, Roland Schafleitner, Yen-Wei Wang and James D. McCreight

We report here the genetic characterization of bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) based on polymorphisms of 50 simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci in 114 accessions that included landraces, breeding lines, and commercial open-pollinated and F1 hybrid cultivars widely grown in Asia. Neighbor-joining tree analysis revealed a high level of genetic variability in the collection. The 114 accessions formed three subpopulations represented by five clusters. Distribution of accessions across the five clusters reflected their geographic origin to a large extent. South Asian accessions originating from India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan were more closely related to each other than to any other geographical group. Likewise, southeast Asian accessions that originated from Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Philippines were grouped together. Accessions that originated from Taiwan were genetically distinct and grouped separately. A landrace from Laos was genetically close to the accessions from Thailand and genetically distinct from the rest of the accessions. White-fruited genotypes were genetically distinct from green- and dark green–fruited genotypes. Low- and medium-bitter accessions were more similar to each other than to the high-bitter genotypes. Accessions with cylindrical fruit were genetically distinct from those with spindle or elongated fruit. Commercial cultivars in each cluster were closely related, which indicated a narrowing of the bitter gourd genetic base in Asia in response to market demands for uniformity and yield. Use of diverse germplasm resources in bitter gourd breeding will help in sustainable breeding and production.

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Narinder P.S. Dhillon, Supannika Sanguansil, Supornpun Srimat, Suwannee Laenoi, Roland Schafleitner, Michel Pitrat and James D. McCreight

Cucurbit powdery mildew (CPM) caused by Podosphaera xanthii (Px) is an economically important disease of bitter gourd (BG; Momordica charantia) in Asia. High-level resistance to CPM is known in various BG accessions that have been used to develop BG breeding lines that originated in different countries. BG breeding lines THMC 113 (Belize), THMC 143 (India), THMC 153 (Thailand), THMC 167 (India), and THMC 170 (Taiwan) possess high-level resistance to BG Px race (BG-CPM), designated Mc-1 from a field at Kamphaeng Saen, Thailand, whereas THMC 144 (India) is susceptible. Our objective was to determine the inheritance of resistance to BG-CPM race Mc-1. To that end, THMC 144 (India) was crossed with the five resistant lines. The parents and their respective F1, F2, backcross progenies were evaluated for BG-CPM disease severity in inoculated field and growth chamber tests. Resistance to BG-CPM race Mc-1 in the five resistant lines was controlled by at least two independent, recessive genes. Intercrosses of the BG-CPM–resistant lines revealed allelic resistances in four of the breeding lines: THMC 113, THMC 153, THMC 167, and THMC 170. Resistance in THMC 143 was clearly non-allelic for resistance to BG-CPM with the other four BG-CPM–resistant lines.

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Narinder P.S. Dhillon, Supannika Sanguansil, Supornpun Srimat, Roland Schafleitner, B. Manjunath, Parag Agarwal, Qu Xiang, Mohammed Abu Taher Masud, Thaingi Myint, Ngo Thi Hanh, Tran Kim Cuong, Conrado H. Balatero, Venus Salutan-Bautista, Michel Pitrat, Aleš Lebeda and James D. McCreight

Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.) is a commercially and nutritionally important market vegetable in Asia cultivated mainly by smallholder farmers. Cucurbit powdery mildew (CPM) caused by Podosphaera xanthii (Px) is a nearly ubiquitous and serious fungal disease of bitter gourd. Five bitter gourd breeding lines (THMC 113, THMC 143, THMC 153, THMC 167, and THMC 170) were selected at the World Vegetable Center for resistance to a local isolate of Px in Kamphaeng Saen, Thailand. We evaluated the resistance potential of these five inbred lines against local isolates of Px at 12 locations in five Asian countries. Plants were inoculated with the respective local Px isolate 15 and 30 days after transplanting and additional Px-infected plants of the inoculated control were interplanted throughout each test. Plants were rated 60 days after transplanting for CPM reaction using a 0 (no evidence of infection) to 5 (>75% infection evident on individual leaves) disease severity scale. THMC 153 and THMC 167 were resistant to the local race of Px in all locations, whereas THMC 143 was observed resistant in all test locations except one in China. THMC 113 was resistant in each location except one in India. THMC 170 was susceptible in three locations in India. The multilocation tests revealed four unique Px races on bitter gourd in different Asian countries and sources of resistance for breeding CPM-resistant bitter gourd cultivars. Six strains of Px isolated from other cucurbits (Cucumis and Cucurbita) and representing five melon CPM races were unable to infect the susceptible M. charantia accession THMC 144 and the five resistant breeding lines, indicating pathotype differences between them and an isolate of M. charantia origin typed as race 1 on melon. THMC 143 and THMC 167, which originated from India, exhibited good yield potential in trials conducted in Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.