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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 5:23 (article 11) 1982

Comparison of the Effectiveness of BA and AVG in Promoting Fruit Set in Muskmelon

J. B. Loy

University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824

The cytokinin N6 - benzyladenine (BA) promotes fruit set in hand-pollinated muskmelon (1). In making our muskmelon pollinations during the summer, we routinely apply 2 µg BA in a lanolin-water paste (7:3 w/v) to the base of ovaries with a disposable tuberculin syringe (minus needle). It has also been reported that aminoethoxyvinlglycine (AVG), an inhibitor of ethylene synthesis, promotes fruit set in muskmelon (2). In 1978, 1979, and 1980, we tested the relative effectiveness of BA and AVG in promoting fruit set (Table 1).

Table 1. Effect of AVG and BA on fruit set in muskmelon.

% Fruit Set
Control (lanolin)
AVG (5 µg)
BA (2 µg)

x Cv. Delicious 51, 60 pollinations per treatment.
y Cv. Minnesota Midget, 42 pollinations per treatment.
z Eight andromonoecious breeding lines, 100 pollinations per treatment.

Both BA and AVG enhanced fruit set, but BA was mot effective. The limited data do not indicate a consistent, if any, advantage to using a combination of AVG and BA. An additive effect of the two compounds could not have been detected in 1980 because of the unusually high fruit set with BA alone. Because a number of factors, such as vine vigor, fruit load, humidity, temperature, and flower morphology, may affect fruit set. hormone treatments do not always guarantee a high percentage of fruit set.

Literature Cited

  1. Jones, C. M. 1965. Effects of benzyladenine on fruit set in muskmelon. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci 87:335-340.
  2. Natti, T. A. and J. B. Loy. 1978. Role of wound ethylene in fruit set of hand-pollinated muskmelons. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 103:834-836.
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