Preliminary Selection and Phenotypic Characterization of Melon Landraces Exhibiting Resistance to Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew is a devastating disease of melon worldwide. Safe guarding the melon production requires to tackle this disease, either by chemical control or by developing resistant cultivars with the latter being the most sustainable, inexpensive and environmentally friendly approach. The use of genetic resistance is a safe alternative to overcome the hazardous chemical contaminants. Thus, in the present study 56 melon landraces were evaluated for their response to powdery mildew and for a set of agro-morphological and quality traits. The results showed that 4 landraces were highly resistant to powdery mildew, with low symptoms and disease incidence not exceeding 10%, and 11 landraces were moderately resistant. The agromorphological assessment of the selected resistant landraces showed that the fruit weight ranged between 433 and 1300 g with a total soluble solids ranging between 7.93 and 13.57 °Brix. This local germplasm is of great potential and the highly resistant landraces should be exploited as potential sources of resistance to powdery mildew in future breeding programs.
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