Navigation Links
Genome decoded: Scientists find clues to more disease-resistant watermelons
Date:11/26/2012

ITHACA, N.Y. Are juicier, sweeter, more disease-resistant watermelons on the way? An international consortium of more than 60 scientists from the United States, China, and Europe has published the genome sequence of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) information that could dramatically accelerate watermelon breeding toward production of a more nutritious, tastier and more resistant fruit. The watermelon genome sequence was published in the Nov. 25 online version of the journal Nature Genetics.

The researchers discovered that a large portion of disease resistance genes were lost in the domestication of watermelon. With the high-quality watermelon sequence now complete, it is hoped that breeders can now use the information to recover some of these natural disease defenses.

The authors reported that the genome of the domesticated watermelon contained 23,440 genes, roughly the same number of genes as in humans. The group compared the genomes of 20 different watermelons and developed a first-generation genetic variation map for watermelon. This information allowed them to identify genomic regions that have been under human selection, including those associated with fruit color, taste and size.

"Watermelons are an important cash crop and among the top five most consumed fresh fruits; however, cultivated watermelons have a very narrow genetic base, which presents a major bottleneck to its breeding. Decoding the complete genome of the watermelon and resequencing watermelons from different subspecies provided a wealth of information and toolkits to facilitate research and breeding," said Zhangjun Fei, a scientist at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University, and one of the leaders of this project.

Fei worked with BTI scientists on different aspects of the research, including James Giovannoni, to generate the gene expression data through RNA-sequencing and Lukas Mueller to provide additional analysis to confirm the quality of the genome assembly. Fei also collaborated with Amnon Levi, a research geneticist at the USDA-ARS, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, Charleston, S.C., on genetic mapping and identifying candidate genes that might be useful to enhance disease resistance in watermelon. The genome sequences of the watermelon are publicly available at the Cucurbit Genomics Database, which is created and maintained by Fei's group.

Believed to have originated in Africa, watermelons were cultivated by Egyptians more than 4,000 years ago, where the fruit was a source of water in dry, desert conditions. They are now consumed throughout the world with over 400 varieties in global commercial production. China leads in global production of the fruit, and the United States ranks fourth with more than 40 states involved in the industry. Despite being over 90 percent water, watermelons do contain important nutrients such as vitamins A and C, and lycopene, a compound that gives some fruits and vegetables their red color and appears to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Watermelon is also a natural source of citrulline, a non-essential amino acid with various health and athletic performance benefits.


'/>"/>

Contact: John Carberry
johncarberry@cornell.edu
607-255-5353
Cornell University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Short DNA strands in the genome may be key to understanding human cognition and diseases
2. Researchers decode birch tree genome sequence for the first time
3. Pear genome provides new insight into breeding improvement and evolutionary trace analysis
4. USDA funded research leads to key discoveries in the pig genome
5. Researchers sequence swine genome, discover associations that may advance animal and human health
6. Duke Medicine news -- Genome sequencing of Burkitt Lymphoma reveals unique mutation
7. Global genome effort seeks genetic roots of disease
8. Barley genome could hold key to better beer
9. USDA scientists collaborate with global researchers to advance the mapping of the barley genome
10. Oyster genome uncover the stress adaptation and complexity of shell formation
11. Uncovering the genomes regulatory code
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/15/2016)... 2016 Transparency Market Research ... Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size Share ... the report, the  global gesture recognition market  was ... is estimated to grow at a CAGR of ... Increasing application of gesture recognition technology ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... June 2, 2016 The Department of ... awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for the ... Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , ... the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned ... Decatur was selected for the most ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass ... and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice ... security and usability. ... new partnership. "This marketing and technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that ... living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at ... New York City . The teams, ... at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. ... curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today ... trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The ... ascending dose studies designed to assess the safety, ... injection in healthy adult volunteers. Forty ... a single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Pleasant Prairie, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, ... ... sciences consultancy focused on quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free ... webinar is presented on July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... from $29.3 billion in 2013. The market is expected to grow ... 2015 to 2020, increasing from $50.6 billion in 2015 to $96.6 ... during the forecast period (2015 to 2020) are discussed. As well, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: