Spontaneous Tetraploid Melons

in HortScience
Authors:
Perry E. NugentU. S. Vegetable Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Charleston, SC 29414

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and
Dennis T. RayDepartment of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721

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Since 1968, three spontaneous 4× melons (Cucumis melo L.) plants were discovered in our field or greenhouse plantings. Two were found in the cultivar Planters Jumbo and one in the virescent marker C879-52. Each of these 4× plants had rounded cotyledons, shorter internodes, thicker stems and leaves, more hairs, and smaller fruits, with larger stem and blossom scars, than their 2× counterparts. Also, their flowers, pollen grains, stomates, and seeds were larger. The discovery of a 4× virescent plant in 1987 allows easier germplasm transfer between ploidy levels. Morphological characteristics of 2× and 4× melons will allow identification without need for chromosome counts.

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