NC State Watermelon Breeding Program Overview

The North Carolina State University watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) breeding program is currently involved in several areas of research, as shown below:

  • Resistance to PRSV-W and ZYMV
    • Nihat Guner, Todd Wehner, and Zvezdana Pesic-VanEsbroeck
    • Develop screening methods for testing watermelon for virus resistance
    • Screen the watermelon germplasm collection
    • Determine the inheritance of resistance; find molecular markers
    • Develop resistant inbred lines
  • Resistance to gummy stem blight
    • Gabriele Gusmini, Todd Wehner, and Gerald Holmes
    • Develop screening methods for testing watermelon for virus resistance
    • Screen the watermelon germplasm collection
    • Determine the inheritance of resistance; find molecular markers
    • Develop resistant inbred lines
    • Determine the value of resistance with and without fungicide application
  • Yield improvement
    • Gabriele Gusmini, Melisa Crane, and Todd Wehner
    • Determine suitability of single-plant hills for yield selection
    • Determine optimum plot size
    • Measure border effects in single- and multiple-row plots
    • Determine the heritability of yield
    • Screen the watermelon germplasm collection
  • Canary yellow and bright orange flesh color
    • Todd Wehner and Tammy Ellington
    • Evaluate and release breeding lines with yield, earliness, quality
  • Other studies
    • Determine which cultivars are suitable for watermelon rind pickles
    • Collect and evaluate all available watermelon gene mutants