2022 APSA Cucurbinars - Thank God It's Friday - Session 6 - Melon 16 December 2022 / 14.00 - 16.00 hrs (GMT+7)

APSA is happy to announce a brand new webinar series consisting of 6 sessions covering Cucurbit crops in Asia and Pacific Region (Watermelon, Melon, Bitter gourd, Cucumber, Pumpkin & Squash and other gourds). Each session is to be held on Friday each month from July to December 2022 at 18.00 - 20.00 hrs Bangkok time (ICT/GMT+7). 

2022 APSA Cucurbinars - Thank God It's Friday
Session 6 - Melon
16 December 2022 / 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm (GMT+7)



14.00 – 14.05

Opening of the Webinar (5 mins)
Dr. Divya Ashish, Member, APSA R&D Advisory Group

14.05 – 14.10

New variety releases or endorsements (5 mins)

14.10 – 14.40

Breeding for Fusarium wilt resistance in muskmelon (30 mins)
Dr. Sat Pal Sharma, Principal Vegetable Breeder, Department of Vegetable Science, Punjab Agricultural University

14.40 – 15.00

Discussion and Q&A Session (20 mins)

15.00 – 15.30

Next-generation TILLING by sequencing for improving melons (30 mins)
Dr. Manash Chatterjee, Co-founder and Director, Viridian Seeds Ltd

15.30 – 15.50

Discussion and Q&A Session (20 mins)

15.50 – 16.00

Closing remarks (10 mins)
Dr. Divya Ashish, Member, APSA R&D Advisory Group


Dr. Sat Pal Sharma
Principal Vegetable Breeder
Department of Vegetable Science
Punjab Agricultural University

Dr. Sat Pal Sharma is working as a Principal Vegetable Breeder at the Department of Vegetable Science of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), India. He did his PhD (Horticulture) from Texas A&M University, USA in muskmelon improvement. Currently, he is the principal investigator leading the muskmelon breeding programme aimed at generation of improved genetic resources using classical and biotechnological approaches. Current research interests in his research program include: 1) Development of improved F1 Hybrids/ cultivars of muskmelon; 2) Generation of genetic and genomic resources and molecular tools to accelerate muskmelon breeding programme; 3) Understanding, exploring and transfer of useful genes across muskmelon horticultural groups/ relatives.

Muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) is an important vegetable crop cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. Melon fruits are consumed for their sweet taste, unique flavour, and health-promoting bioactive compounds. Fusarium wilt (FW), caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. melonis (Fom) is a substantial threat to muskmelon cultivation around the world. Several crop management strategies, such as crop rotation, soil solarisation and grafting have been reported to be ineffective against FW of melons. Identification of new sources of resistance and transfer of the resistance genes to elite cultivars is an effective breeding strategy to reduce the FW-associated crop losses in muskmelon. In this talk, I will give a brief overview of the genetic studies of FW resistance and summarize FW resistant genes in muskmelon identified so far in muskmelon. Further, I will discuss the inheritance studies and molecular mapping for FW resistance in muskmelon. I will also discuss the utilization of wild relatives in muskmelon breeding for FW resistance.

Dr. Manash Chatterjee
Co-founder and Director
Viridian Seeds Ltd.

Dr Manash Chatterjee is a plant scientist and entrepreneur and cofounder director of Viridian Seeds. He is also founder and director of BenchBio company in India. He is also an Adjunct Faculty at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). His current interest is to improve crops using the next-generation TILLING by sequencing method. The TILLING method can be applied to any crop that is produced from seeds, his current focus is to create climate-smart legume varieties and other crops to benefit the farmers, consumers and the environment

Next-generation TILLING by sequencing for improving melons

The challenge of the future will be the speed at which DNA sequence databases are analysed and candidate genes of agronomic importance selected and tested for function. GM crops continue to face tremendous difficulties in public acceptance; the technology is expensive and also frequently limits ‘freedom to operate’ (FTO). At Viridian, we are using an alternative non-GM tool TILLING; mutagenesis in combination with forward and reverse genetics and high throughput next-generation sequencing which offers an alternative way to improve crops without transgenics. Reverse genetics combines traditional chemical mutagenesis with sensitive molecular screenings to discover induced point mutations in many different genes controlling important traits whose sequence is known by sequencing. Forward genetics combines identification of novel traits by phenotyping and cloning of genes by sequencing afterwards. By combining these two methods new genotypes with potentially high agronomic value can be isolated and directly commercialized. We will present data to demonstrate that these methods can be used successfully to improve melons for a variety of novel traits.



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