Growth and Fruiting of Short-internode Main Dwarf, Normal-internode Parent, and Hybrid

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546

Plants of Main Dwarf, a short-internode mutant of the normal-internode `Mainstream' muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.), have shorter internodes, fewer nodes, less total vine length, less total dry weight, smaller leaves, increased chlorophyll concentrations, increased specific leaf dry weight, and increased ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (EC 4.1.1.39, rubisco) activity per unit leaf area than `Mainstream' plants. Main Dwarf plants produce an equal number of fruit as `Mainstream' plants but are only half their size. Many of the plant and fruit characteristics for F1(Main Dwarf × `Mainstream') are similar to those of `Mainstream', except for greater leaf chlorophyll and rubisco activity per unit leaf area. The F1 (`Mainstream' × Main Dwarf) produced fewer and lower weight fruit than its reciprocal, F1 (Main Dwarf × `Mainstream').

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