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  • Author or Editor: S.L. Grange x
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Triploid watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai] consumption is increasing in the U.S. However, some of the original problems, poor and inconsistent germination, still exist. Seeds of several triploid and diploid watermelon cultivars were subjected to a variety of treatments to improve germination. Control and scarified seeds, by nicking, were incubated at 25 or 30 °C in either 5 or 10 mL H2O or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Triploid seed germination was strongly inhibited in all cultivars when seeds were at 10 mL of the H2O or H2O2; both nicking and H2O2 increased germination, but not equal to rate of the control in 5 mL H2O or H2O2. Germination of diploid cultivars was unaffected by any treatment. Seed morphological measurments indicated that triploid seed has a smaller embryo with a large and highly variable (CV = 105%) air space surrounding the embryonic axis as compared with the diploid seed. These data suggests that triploid watermelon seed germination is not inhibited by the seedcoat thickness alone. Seed moisture plays a significant role in germination, emergence, and stand uniformity.

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Triploid watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai] consumption is increasing in the United States However, some of the original problems, poor and inconsistent germination, still exist. Seeds of several triploid and diploid watermelon cultivars were subjected to a variety of treatments to improve germination. Control and scarified seeds, by nicking, were incubated at 25 or 30 °C in either 5 or 10 mL H2O or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Triploid seed germination was strongly inhibited in all cultivars when seeds were at 10 mL of H2O or H2O2; both nicking and H2O2 increased germination but not equal to rate of the control in 5 mL H2O or H2O2. Germination of diploid cultivars was unaffected by any treatment. Seed morphological measurments indicated that triploid seed has a smaller embryo with a large and highly variable (cv = 105%) air space surrounding the embryonic axis as compared with the diploid seed. These data suggests that triploid watermelon seed germination is not inhibited by the seed coat thickness alone. Seed moisture plays a significant role in germination, emergence, and stand uniformity.

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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.

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