Molecular Markers Associated with Morphological Traits in Watermelon

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  • 1 Auburn University, Department of Horticulture, 101 Funchess Hall, Auburn, AL 36849
  • 2 USDA Forest Service, Southern Institute for Forest Genetics, 23332 Highway 67, Saucier, MS

Morphological traits were examined in an F3 generation derived from a cross between C. lanatus var. lanatus [(Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] and C. lanatus var. citroides. At least three genes, C (yellow) vs. c (red), i (inhibitory to C) vs. I (non-inhibitory to C), and y (yellow) vs. yw (white), with epistatic and inhibitory actions were found to govern the inheritance of fruit flesh color. The high frequency of yellow-fleshed fruit and low frequencies of white and red fruits can be explained by the presence of a new allele (yw recessive to y) in the multiple allele series at the Y locus. The low frequency of tan colored seeds in segregating populations could be explained by at least three genes governing inheritance of seed-coat color. Single factor analysis of variance was conducted for each pairwise combination of random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) locus and fruit or seed characteristics. Several RAPD loci were identified to be loosely linked to morphological characteristics.

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