Improving living standards have led to increasing interest in the quality of watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Manf.] fruit among producers and consumers; thus, the cultivation of high-quality watermelon varieties that meet consumer demands is particularly important. Watermelon fruit quality includes commodity quality, organoleptic quality, nutritional quality, and more. Organic acid composition and content are thought to play an important role in the organoleptic quality, nutritional quality, and metabolism of the fruit (Silva et al., 2004; Zampini et al., 2008). Furthermore, organic acids have important nutritional value for the human body; the natural flavor malic acid is conducive to amino acid absorption, whereas citric acid can increase appetite and promote calcium and phosphorus absorption. Different consumers have various preferences for sweet and sour fruit flavor because of dietary changes; when different varieties have a high soluble sugar fruit content, the cultivar with high organic acid content is more popular (Wu et al., 2003). In China, the Cantaloupe Research Center of Xinjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences has successfully cultivated a series of melon varieties with sweet and sour flavor, which have broad potential applications. The main organic acid of watermelon fruit is malic acid, followed by citric acid (Chisholm and Picha, 1986). However, most cultivated watermelon varieties worldwide are sweet; other varieties with a sweet and sour flavor remain limited in the current market. The aim of this research was to develop a new watermelon cultivar with a sweet and sour flavor, which could fill this market void and satisfy consumer demands for watermelon fruit.
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