Viewing post #1106985 by joseph

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You are viewing a single post made by joseph in the thread called 2014 Seed Swap Chatter #4.
Dec 10, 2014 2:38 PM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity
Watermelons end up seedless because the chromosome numbers don't match up. One parent has 2 sets DNA and the other has 4 sets, so each reproduces normally, but if a plant with 2 sets crosses with a plant with 4 sets then that leaves a plant with 3 sets of DNA which is sterile and thus seedless.

The reason to grow a striped melon as the diploid parent and a plain melon as the tetraploid parent is that the striped trait is dominant. So it is easy to go out into a field of plain melons and know that the striped melons should be seedless triploids.

The round/oblong trait ends up manifesting as a blocky melon. Again another visual clue to know which melons are seedless without cutting them open.

Commercially, the hybrids are made in a way that nearly every seed will produce a seedless melon. That's too much work for me, so I grow them side-by-side and hope for some natural hybrids.

Of course, the conversion to tetraploid could have failed, and then there won't be any seedless fruits.... I feel so risky offering this seed as soon as it's available rather than waiting a year or two. But whatever, I've fully disclosed the risks.
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: Lofthouse

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