Excess Moisture and Seedcoat Nicking Influence Germination of Triploid Watermelon

in HortScience
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  • 1 Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas A&M University, Uvalde, TX 78801
  • | 2 Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas A&M University, Uvalde, TX 78801
  • | 3 Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center, Texas A&M University Research Park, College Station, TX 77843
  • | 4 Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

Poor and inconsistent germination is a problem in triploid watermelon. Nicking was shown effective in improving germination in triploid cultivars. In this experiment, we examined the effects of high and low medium moisture, and nicking on diploid and triploid seed germination. Germination for the diploid cultivar was unaffected by any treatment. At high moisture conditions, triploid seed germination was severely reduced to less than 15%, while nicking significantly improved germination up to 40%. However, this increase is still not commercially acceptable. When seed morphological components were measured for each cultivar, triploid seeds had a larger and highly variable air space as compared to the diploid seed. The data confirm that seed germination is not inhibited by the seedcoat alone, but appears to be highly sensitive to excessive water conditions.

Contributor Notes

E-mail address: sgrange@taexgw.tamu.eduTo whom requests for reprints should be addressed.
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