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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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The Melon Genetic Resources Network

The Melon Genetic Resources Network has been coordinated by CRB-Leg since 1996. It allows materials and the burden of maintenance and phenotyping to be shared between partners.

A number of vegetable RG have been created since 1996 thanks to the initiative of the Office of Genetic Resources (BRG) that was the French National Coordinator of Genetic Resources in France from 1983 to 2008. The aim of the networks was to involve actors, who held and/or used RG nationally, in order to share materials in collections with each other and also the advantages and costs associated with storing, maintaining and securing them on a long-term basis. With state funding being absent, these networks require self-financing by each partner. The GAFL research unit coordinates, since their creation in 1996, the Solanaceae seed vegetables genetic resource networks (tomato, eggplant and pepper) as well as the Melon network, and as of 2020 the Lactuca network.

Structure: The network is consecrated to a single vegetable species, the melon. It has been coordinated since its creation in 1996 by INRA, first by Michel Pitrat (1996-2012) and since 2013 by Catherine Dogimont (scientific and strategic management) and the CRB-Leg team for material management of the collection.

Partners: The partnership is made up of INRAE and seed companies that have melon research and breeding programs in France. In 2015 these partners were: ASL, Bayer, Enza Zaden, Gautier Semences, Nunhems BV (BASF’s vegetable seeds business), Rijk Zwaan, Sakata France, Syngenta, Takii France, Vco (HM-Clause). These partners are responsible for seed multiplication and phenotyping (morphological descriptors) of material.

Collections: The network's collection includes varieties and wild ecotypes of Cucumis melo, representative of the global diversity of this species, including many cultigroups that have been described. Some wild ecotypes of other species of the Cucumis genus are present in the collection; note however, that they are not hybridisable with the melon. In 2015, the collection comprised 2300 accessions. The national melon collection is a subset of the collection network. It includes 100 accessions, constituted mainly of traditional French varieties and breeding stock resistant to pests. The information concerning the collection is available online

The genetic resources of the network collection are available on request, to the extent of their availability. The passport data, morphological descriptors, many photos and evaluation results of the network collection for resistance to pathogens carried out by all the partners are managed on the Siregal database (link above).

Operation:  Since its creation, the network regenerates and phenotypes the genetic resources of the collection, (15 accessions per partner annually). Seeds are stored at +5°C at INRAE or for longer term storage at -20°C. Backup duplicates are kept by multiplier partners. The outcome (year N) and programming (year N+1) are subject to an annual general meeting. In addition, the network has focused on the evaluation of the genetic resources for resistance to many pests, viruses, fungi and aphids. Activities of specific assessments of genetic resources are subject to collaboration contracts between the GAFL, seed companies and technical institutes, such as the CTIFL.