IFAPA, Cronus Seeds and Zayintec collaboration

The objectives of the project will be to detect genes associated with characteristics such as the thickness of the shell, the size of the seeds and parameters related to nutritional quality.

ZAYINTEC will develop new watermelon varieties in collaboration with IFAPA applying new genomics and biotechnological tools. The company and the research institute will use marker-assisted selection (MAS) to support the breeding program using DarTseq technology to be combined with Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) sequencing platforms to create high-density maps in watermelon. The materials will be evaluated for quality characters and for agronomic and production characters.

The information generated will be used to detect genes and/or QTLs associated with characters such as fruit size and shape, shell thickness, seed size and other nutritional quality parameters in an effort to identify candidate genes from their control.

The work will be complemented with the information derived from the genetic maps described so far and the sequence of the watermelon genome that will be used as reference for the identification of the genes of interest to be controlled.

The final goal is to make a fine mapping of the regions of interest and develop diagnostic markers as tools with direct application in improvement, usable in the MAS programs of ZAYINTEC.

As a technological challenge, not tackled until now, our intentions are to make the advances in research on ultraviolet light (UVL) transformed into relevant information for watermelon producers. UVL induces changes in metabolites that affect parameters of quality, growth, vigor, biomass and production. In this project we propose to irradiate with UV-C watermelon seeds in order to evaluate its effect on germination, seedling growth and productivity.

The information generated will not only expand the genomic tools of watermelon but will also increase the efficiency of the ZAYINTEC improvement programs and the quality of the materials they offer.

Project RTC-2016-5802-2 financed by Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad and Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (MINECO / FEDER, UE).
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