Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Sequence Charleston Gray Watermelon

May 22, 2019

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and their colleagues from various universities have sequenced "Charleston Gray," a watermelon variety that was introduced to the public in 1954 by ARS.

The scientists used the most advanced genomic technologies in the long-term study to sequence the "Charleston Gray" genome and genotyped an additional 1,365 watermelon lines from the USDA National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). The research team has identified regions in the watermelon genomes that confer disease resistance or control several important fruit quality traits. 

The research team, led by ARS geneticist Amnon Levi and Zhangjun Fei at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI), collaborated with scientists at BTI, North Carolina State University, Michigan State University, and West Virginia State University on evaluating the genetic diversity of USDA watermelon Plant Introduction (PI) collection.

For more details, read the USDA ARS press release.