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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 10:43-44 (article 25) 1987

Improving Artificial Pollination Techniques for Muskmelon

M.V. Andrés, J. Abadía, M.C. Hernández-Pina, and A. Alonso-Allende

Centro de Edafologia y Biologia Aplicada del Segura, C.S.I.C. Murcia, Spain

F. Nuez

Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Spain

The combination of mechanical techniques of stamen removal and pollination with the growth regulator BA (6-Benzyladenine), increases fruit set in muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.).

Stamen removal and pollination of hermaphrodite flowers have been carried out by two different methods, M1 and M2:

  • M1 - stamen removal-pollination method:
    • One longitudinal incision is made with a lancet on the top of the calyx (from the bottom of the sepals and upwards) and the stamens are removed.
    • Pollination is achieved by rubbing a brush impregnated with pollen from three male flowers on the stigma.
  • M2 - stamen removal-pollination method:
    • The corolla, calyx, and stamens are removed with the fingers. Pollination is achieved by rubbing stamens on the stigma. Although the highest percentage fruit-set was obtained with the M2 method, the differences were not significant (P = 0.05) between the M1 and M2 methods. The M2 method is recommended to simplify work.

Jones using a BA/lanolin paste obtained a fruit-set percentage of about 37.5%, while the percentage of fruit-set for other treatments was only 0.83% (2). Melon plants treated with 6-BA yielded up to 70% more fruit than control plants (1).

Four different treatments have been used in this work: (M1, M2 M1 + BA, and M2 + BA).

The BA is applied with a brush to the base of the ovary of the hermaphrodite flowers after pollination. The paste is obtained by mixing 0.5 g of BA, 10 ml of 70% ETOH, 9 g of stearic acid, 123.18 al of distilled water, and 48 g of lanolin. The formula is a modification of the one used by Munger et al. (3).


  • Application of BA increased fruit set.
  • Variation due to BA treatments was significant, but differences in mechanical techniques were not significant at a level of 95%.
  • There was no interaction between the mechanical techniques and BA treatment.
  • The four cultivars of muskmelon used in this work were 'Ogen', 'Amarillo Oro', 'Honey Dew', and 'Tendral'.
    • There were no significant differences among genotypes. Neither were there interactions between treatments and genotypes.
  • We suggest the utilization of the M2 + BA technique for improving the fruit- set in muskmelon breeding programs.

Literature Cited

  1. Donato, M. and M. Fiore. 1971. Influenza della 6-Benziladenina sull espresiones sessuale e sulla produzione di frutti di melone (Cucumis melo L.) e di zucchino (Cucurbita pepo L.). Annali della facolta di Science aquarie della Univesita degli studi di Torino VII:1-16.
  2. Jones, C.H. 1965. Effects of benzyladenine of fruit set in muskmelon. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 87:335-340.
  3. Munger, H.M. and D.P. Lane. 1983. An improved method of B.A. application for the promotion of fruit set in muskmelon. Cucurbit Genetics Coop. Rpt. 6:51.

We wish to express our gratitude to Mr. Antonio Zamora for his valued assistance in carrying out this work.

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