New help may be on the way for beleaguered growers of popular cucurbit crops like cucumbers and watermelons. Many varieties of the widely grown bottlegourd (Lagenaria siceraria) appear to have resistance to Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), a scourge of commercial cucurbits that includes pumpkins, squashes and other kinds of melons, including watermelons. ZYMV infects cucurbits throughout North America and in other parts of world, and is a particular concern to U.S. producers of watermelon, a crop valued at $435 million in 2006.
Two scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), which is the chief intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), are screening bottlegourds for genetic resistance to ZYMV. Plant pathologist Kai-Shu Ling and geneticist Amnon Levi, who work at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, S.C., have been searching for effective and environmentally friendly techniques to control watermelon pathogens and pests.
Ling and Levi obtained seeds for 190 bottlegourd accessions that were collected from different parts of the world and kept at the ARS Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit in Griffin, Ga. They raised the seeds in their Charleston greenhouses, and then inoculated the bottlegourd plants with ZYMV and evaluated how well they resisted the virus.
To their surprise, 36 accessions of the 190 screened—33 from India alone—were completely resistant to ZYMV infection, and another 64 accessions were partially resistant. They also found that ZYMV resistance is heritable in crosses between different bottlegourd accessions, enabling the development of bottlegourd varieties with enhanced virus resistance.
Popular watermelon cultivars could be grafted onto bottlegourd rootstocks with enhanced resistance to bolster the watermelons’ ability to resist ZYMV. Some watermelon growers have already been experimenting with grafting watermelon on bottlegourd rootstocks to control soilborne diseases and to enhance fruit production and quality.
Victor van Buchem | EurekAlert!
Microjet generator for highly viscous fluids
13.02.2018 | Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
Sweet route to greater yields
08.02.2018 | Rothamsted Research
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
22.02.2018 | Life Sciences
22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences