, 135:305 | Cite as

Characterization of six varieties of Cucumis melo L. based on morphological and physiological characters, including shelf-life of fruit

  • Li Liu
  • Fumika Kakihara
  • Masahiro KatoEmail author


Seventy-two accessions covering six varieties of Cucumis melo were characterized by using 35 morphological characters with emphasis on shelf-life, and the relationships between shelf-life and related characters was investigated. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that development period of plant and fruit, size of seed and fruit, shelf-life, stem hair, flesh juiciness, netting, abscission of peduncle, rapid yellowing of epidermis at maturity, Brix value, and color of flesh and epidermis etc. were the principal characters to discriminate melon accessions examined in the present study. According to the scatter diagram, vars. acidulusand makuwa, both of which belong to the Oriental melon, are closely related because of their short growth duration, small seed, thin pericarp and poor shelf-life, while American cantaloupe (var.reticulatus) and European cantaloupe (var. cantalupensis) are rather closely related due to their climacteric fruit with orange flesh, slipped peduncle and rapid yellowing of epidermis at maturity, which is closely related with their shelf-life. PCA also indicated that var. saccharinus was closer to var. inodorus than to the other varieties, due to their requirement of long period for development, large size of seed and fruit, and half- or non-slipped peduncle. Shelf-life of melon fruit was significantly correlated with the following characters: quality of flesh, size of seed and fruit, abscission of peduncle, development periods of plant and fruit, rapid yellowing of epidermis at maturity, Brix value and color of flesh and epidermis. Accessions with good shelf-life were mostly found in vars. saccharinus and inodorus.

Cucumis melo L. principal component analysis shelf-life varietal difference 


  1. Akashi, Y., S. Shiomi, Y. Kubo, M. Masuda & K. Kato, 2001. Microsatellite and CAPS markers for ethylene-related genes, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) synthase and ACC oxidase genes, and their variation in melon (Cucumis melo L.). Breeding Sci 51: 107-112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Akashi, Y., N. Fukuda, T. Wako, M. Masuda & K. Kato, 2002. Genetic variation and phylogenetic relationships in East and South Asian melons, Cucumis melo L., based on the analysis of five isozymes. Euphytica 125: 385-396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ayub, R., M. Guis, M. Ben Amor, L. Gillot, J.P. Roustan, A. Latche, M. Bouzayen & J.P. Pech, 1996. Expression of ACC oxidase antisense gene inhibits ripening of cantaloupe melon fruits. Nature Biotechnol 14: 862-866.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Garcia. E., M. Jamilena, J.I. Alvarez, T. Arnedo, J.L. Oliver & R. Lozano, 1998. Genetic relationships among melon breeding lines revealed by RAPD markers and agronomic traits. Theor Appl Genet 96: 878-885.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Guis, M., R. Botondi, M. Ben-Amor, R. Ayub, M. Bouzayen, J.C. Pech & A. Latche, 1997. Ripening-associated biochemical traits of cantaloupe Charentais melon expressing an antisense ACC oxidase transgene. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 122: 748-751.Google Scholar
  6. Hadfield, K.A., J.K.C. Rose & A.B. Bennett, 1995. The respiratory climacteric is present in Charentais (Cucumis melo cv. Reticulatus F1 Aipha) melons ripened on or off the plant. J Exp Bon 46: 1923-1925.Google Scholar
  7. Kendall, S.A. & T.J. Ng, 1988. Genetic variation of ethylene production in harvested muskmelon fruits. HortScience 23: 759-761.Google Scholar
  8. Kirkbride, J.H. JR., 1993. Biosystematic Monograph of the Genus Cucumis (Cucurbitaceae). Parkway Publishers, Boone, North Carolina.Google Scholar
  9. Kitamura, T., Umemoto, T. Iwata & T. Akazawa, 1975. Studies on the storage of melon fruits. II. Changes of respiration and ethylene production during ripening with reference to cultivars. J Japan Soc Hort Sci 44: 197-203.Google Scholar
  10. Lester, G., 1988. Comparisons of 'Honey Dew' and netted muskmelon fruit tissues in relation to storage life. HortScience 23: 180-182.Google Scholar
  11. Li, X.X., F. Kakihara & M. Kato, 1994. Characters of Chinese Hami melons cultivated under vinyl house condition. Mem Coll Agr, Ehime Univ 39: 145-155 (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  12. Lyons, J.M., W.B. McGlasson & H.K. Pratt, 1962. Ethylene production, respiration, and internal gas concentration in cantaloupe fruits at various stages of maturity. Plant Physiol 37: 31-36.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mallick, M.F.R. & M. Masui, 1986. Origin, distribution and taxonomy of melons. Scientia Horticulturae 28: 251-261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Miccolis, V. & M.E. Saltveit, Jr., 1991. Morphological and physiological changes during fruit growth and maturation of seven melon cultivars. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 116: 1025-1029.Google Scholar
  15. Munger, H.M. & R.W. Robinson, 1991. Nomenclature of Cucumis melo L. Cucubit Genetics Cooperative 14: 43-44.Google Scholar
  16. Naudin, C.V., 1859. Easais d'une monographie des especes et des varieties du genre Cucumis. Ann Sci Natl Bot ser 4, 11: 5-87.Google Scholar
  17. Pratt, H.K., J.D. Goeschl & F.W. Martin, 1977. Fruit growth and development, ripening and role of ethylene in the 'Honey Dew' muskmelon. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 102: 203-210.Google Scholar
  18. Ramaswamy, B., V.S. Seshadri & J.C. Sharma, 1977. Inheritance of some fruit characters in muskmelon. Scientia Horticulturae 6: 107-120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Robinson, R.W. & H.M. Munger, 1976. Genes of the Cucurbitacae. HortScience 11: 554-568.Google Scholar
  20. Rose, J.K.C., K.A. Hadfeild, J.M. Labavitch & A.B. Bennett, 1998. Temporal sequence of cell wall disassembly in rapidly ripening melon fruit. Plant Physiol 117: 345-361.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Shiomi, S., M. Yamamoto, R. Nakamura & A. Inaba, 1999. Expression of ACC oxidase genes in melon harvested at different stages of maturity. J Japan Soc Hort Sci 68: 10-17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Silberstein, L., I. Kovalski, R. Huang, K. Anagnostou, M.M.K. Jahn & R. Perl-Treves, 1999. Molecular variation in melon (Ccumis melo L.) as revealed by RFLP and RAPD marks. Scientia Horticulturae 79: 101-111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Staub, J.E., Y. Danin-Poleg, G. Fazio, T. Horejsi, N. Reis & N. Katzir, 2000. Comparative analysis of cultivated melon groups (Cucumis melo L.) using random amplified polymorphic DNA and simple sequence repeat markers. Euphytica 115: 225-241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Stepansky, A., I. Kovalski & R. Perl-Treves, 1999. Intraspecific classification of melons (Cucumis melo L.) in view of their phenotypic and molecular variation. Plant Syst Evol 217: 313-332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Whitaker, T.W. & G.N. Davis, 1962. Cucurbits. Interscience Publishers, Inc. New York.Google Scholar
  26. Zhang, L.G. & M. Wang, 1992. Discriminant analysis of germplasm resources of Cucumis melo L. Acta Horticulturae Sinica 19: 35-40 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  27. Zheng, X.Y. & D.W. Wolff, 2000. Ethylene production, shelf-life and evidence of RFLP polymorphisms linked to ethylene genes in melon (Cucumis melo L.). Theor Appl Genet 101: 613-624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Breeding Laboratory, Faculty of AgricultureEhime University Tarumi 3–5–7MatsuyamaJapan

Personalised recommendations