Inheritance of Fruit Characteristics in Watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai]

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Title: Inheritance of Fruit Characteristics in Watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai]
Author: Lou, Lingli
Advisors: Todd C. Wehner, Committee Chair
G. Craig Yencho, Committee Member
Gina Brown-Guedira, Committee Member
Abstract: Watermelon fruit characters may affect customer acceptance of the watermelon fruit. The qualitative fruit traits, such as flesh color, seed size, seed coat color, rind pattern, fruit shape, exhibit wide ranges of phenotypes. The flesh color can be red, orange, yellow, or white. The seed length of watermelon also varies from 4.4mm to 16.5mm. The seeds can have various coat colors or other decorations. The rind of watermelon fruits can be striped or solid colored, which are further characterized by different stripe widths, stripe colors, backgrounds colors, and additional modifications. The fruit shape can be elongate, oblong, and round. Other fruit traits include shape of fruit blossom end, fruit surface characters, and hollow-hearted flesh. By crossing watermelon cultivars with different phenotypes, we studied the inheritance of the various phenotypes and identified and verified genes responsible for the flesh color, seed size, rind pattern, and fruit shape. In addition, we studied the quantitative traits of the fruit weight and total soluble solids content. The calculated broad-sense and narrow-sense heritability for fruit weight is low to medium, indicating large environmental effect on fruit weight. Medium to high heritability is found for the total soluble solid content, suggesting possible gains from selection.
Date: 2009-07-22
Degree: MS
Discipline: Horticultural Science

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