Tetraploid Production in Watermelon

Fred McCuistion and Todd C. Wehner

Unpublished

Purpose

There is much interest in seedless watermelons in the consumer market. Unfortunately, there are few tetraploids available for the production of new seedless triploids. We are developing tetraploids for use by the industry in production of new hybrid varieties.

Personnel

  1. Fred McCuistion, research associate
  2. Todd C. Wehner, professor

Objectives

  1. Collect all available diploid and tetraploid varieties
  2. Develop new tetraploid lines
  3. Improve methods for tetraploid line development
  4. Test all tetraploids for value in triploid hybrid production

Results

Over 100 watermelon diploids and tetraploids have been collected with the help of plant breeders in public and private institutions. The diploids will be increased and made available to those interested in using them in breeding and research projects.

So far, we have produced 40 tetraploid lines from 17 original varieties which are being tested for fruit quality and seed fertility.

Future work

We know of 300 watermelon varieties, and are working to collect seeds and pedigree information on them. Additional tetraploids are being produced in the greenhouse for testing in the field.