, Volume 87, Issue 3, pp 165–172 | Cite as

Identification of tetraploid regenerants from cotyledons of diploid watermelon cultured in vitro

  • Michael E. Compton
  • D. J. Gray
  • G. W. Elmstrom


Adventitious shoots were obtained from the diploid watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] cultivars Dixielee, Jubilee II, Mickylee, Minilee, and Royal Sweet by culturing excised cotyledons on shoot regeneration medium for six weeks. Tetraploid and diploid regenerants were identified by counting the number of chloroplasts per guard cell pair from leaves of regenerated plants. Cross fertilization of putative tetraploids with diploid pollinators and the production of triploid seed confirmed the efficacy of this approach. The mean number of chloroplasts for tetraploid regenerants was 19.1 whereas diploids averaged 11.2. These values were similar to tetraploid and diploid plants from seed. Ovary diameter, petal, and anther diameter of male flowers, and leaf length by width ratio were also good indicators of plant ploidy. Progeny obtained from self-fertile tetraploids of ‘Mickylee’ were crossed with various diploid pollinators to produce triploid hybrid seed. All triploid plants from tissue culture-derived tetraploids produced fruit comparable in quality to fruit produced by currently-available triploid hybrids, demonstrating that in vitro tetraploid induction can be used to produce high quality tetraploid plants for use in triploid hybrid seed production.

Key words

Citrullus lanatus cucurbits tissue culture adventitious shoot organogenesis seedless watermelon 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael E. Compton
    • 1
  • D. J. Gray
    • 1
  • G. W. Elmstrom
    • 1
  1. 1.Central Florida Research and Education CenterUniversity of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural SciencesLeesburgUSA

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