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Diversity among melon landraces (Cucumis meloL

Author(s): Staub JE, Lopez-Sese AI, Fanourakis N

Abstract

Diversity among 17 melon landraces and inbred lines of Group Cantalupensis, Inodorus, and Flexuosus germplasm from Greece was assessed using 24 RAPD primers, 11 morphological traits of fruit, two yield-related characteristics, and resistance to powdery mildew. Accessions were genetically diverse and the greatest variation was detected in Group Flexuosus. Comparative analysis of Greek germplasm and an array of previously characterized reference accessions [RA; 68 from Africa (15), United States (U.S.; 5), Central Europe (14), Japan (19), and Spain (15)], spanning major market classes employing 19 RAPD primers (standard marker array), indicates that all but one of the accessions from Greece showed genetic affinities among themselves and with 23 RA of various origin (i.e., Japan, U.S., Central Europe, Spain and Israel) and market class. Accessions from Greece were, however, distinct from the African landraces and most Spanish melons. Greek accessions also showed little genetic affinity with the Casabas (Blanco and Crenshaw), Ogen, and U.S. Eastern Market accessions. Group Flexuosus and Inodorus accessions from Greece possessed genetic affinities with Western Asian (Group Conomon) and Mediterranean (Group Inodorus) market classes, respectively. The uniqueness of Greek melon landraces portends their potential usefulness for the enhancement of U.S., European, and Asian melon market classes.

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