Synthetic Cytokinin-1-(2=chloro=4=pyridyl)-3-phenylurea (CPPU)-Promotes Fruit Set and Induces Parthenocarpy in Watermelon

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 School of Bioresources, Hiroshima Prefectural University, Shobara, Hiroshima, 727 Japan
  • | 2 Faculty of Agriculture, Miyazaki University Kihanadainishi Miyazaki, 880 Japan

Applying a 200 ppm solution of CPPU to pollinated ovaries of watermelon (Citrullus lunatus Matsum) at anthesis increased fruit set from 26.9% (control) to 95%. Applying CPPU solutions to nonpollinated ovaries at anthesis induced parthenocarpy, yielding 65% and 89.5% fruit set, respectively with 20 and 200 ppm applications. However, 64% of the 20 ppm CPPU-treated parthenocarpic fruit stopped growth 10 days after treatment. Growth of CPPU-treated, pollinated, and nonpollinated fruit increased significantly compared with growth of control fruit during the first 10 days after treatment, but, except for the 20 ppm CPPU parthenocarpic fruit, growth subsequently slowed, resulting in fruit equal in size to the control by harvest. CPPU application did not affect soluble solids content of pollinated fruit, but reduced content of parthenocarpic fruit treated with 20 ppm. Fructose content was generally higher than glucose and sucrose at harvest. However, in pollinated fruit treated with 20 ppm CPPU, sucrose levels were higher than glucose and fructose. These results suggest that CPPU is practical for promoting fruit set and seedless fruit without adversely affecting fruit quality and development.

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