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

is 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.


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

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