Profitable production of squash in the growers field is threatened by a virus called Papaya Ringspot Virus (PRSV). Yet, manual phenotyping for PRSV-resistance in each generation is tedious and time-consuming, thus making breeding for PRSV-resistance difficult. In this 2022, Share Your Research Talk, Swati Shrestha describes her research on developing virus-resistant squash. As a researcher from Nepal which is an agricultural country, Swati has always been passionate about developing disease resistant crop varieties that would be beneficial to growers. She addresses the issue of yield loss due to viral disease in squash by using genetic, molecular and computational techniques to develop molecular markers associated with PRSV-resistance. These findings have implications in speeding up the identification, selection, and breeding of PRSV-resistant squash for the growers in the field.
Swati Shrestha is a PhD candidate at the University of Florida, in the Vegetable Breeding and Genetics lab. For her thesis research, she develops and applies molecular tools for accelerated breeding of Potyvirus resistance in squash. Swati is interested in science communication as much as she is into research and development. In the future she… Continue Reading