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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 17:57-60 (article 15) 1994

Cucumis melo L. Accessions of the Genebank of the Polytechnical University of Valencia.

F. Nuez, J. Prohens, M.J. Diez, and P. Fernandex de Cordova

Depto. Biotecnologia. Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, 46022, SPAIN

The Genebank of the Polytechnical University of Valencia (Documentation Center of genus Cucumis) currently has available more than 500 accessions of melon (Cucumis melo L.). Although most of them have been collected in Spain (3, 6, 7, 8), there are some materials from Latin America and Mediterranean Basin.

Most of these accessions, have been characterized and multiplied (2). These works, as well as the collection of new materials, have been supported by the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR) through the "Collecting vegetable germplasm in Spain" project, and by the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA) through the "COllection, Multiplication and Evaluation of the Genetic Resources for their Conservation in Genebanks" project. Furthermore, the Genebank was designed in 1984 as a Documentation Center of Cucumis genus.

The great diversity of types contained in this collection is outstanding particularly in relation with the adaptation to environmental conditions, due to a long time of stay in the same place. There is also a great diversity for agronomic characters (yield, diseases resistance, etc.) vegetative characters (vigour, leaf colour, etc.) and for fruit characters, both external (skin colour, netted, ribbed, etc.) and internal (Flesh colour, Brix grades, etc.).

The accessions have been arranged by description in some groups, which have been established in accordance with commercial types on the Spanish market.

The types are the following:

  • 'Amarillo' - Yellow skin with a wide range of tonalities, usually without either secondary colour or design. An example of this type could be the 'Jaune Canaria'. Other shapes like globular, oblate, elliptical, ovate, etc. are present in the collection.
  • 'Piel de Sapo' - Green skin with dark green spots. Elliptical and oblate shapes are predominant, although oval fruits are also present.
  • 'Rochet' - Light green skin with yellow speckling.
  • 'Tendral' - Dark green, very wrinkled and thick skin, which make them specially resistant to transportation and gives them a long conservation period. Typical Spanish late melons are included in this type.
  • 'Blanco' - White or whitish skin. Netted can be present although with low intensity.
  • 'Cantalupo' - Globular or flattened shape in most cases small in size. Flesh is aromatic but few sweet and usually is orange coloured. Melons included in this type usually are deeply ribbed and both can be netted ('Cantalupo americano') or not ('Cantalupo charentais').
  • 'Hilo Carrete' - Light green skin with long dark green spots almost striped. This type is grown in South Spain.
  • 'Alficoz' - This type belongs to the var. flexuosus. White skin and snake-like shaped (the fruits can reach more than 1 m. long). It is basically used for salad.
  • 'Un-Named' - Accessions whose characteristics do not allow their inclusion in any of the former types have been included in this type. There is a great diversity for a lot of interesting characters, as shape, skin colour, wrinkled, ribbed, etc.

Moreover, there is an important group of accessions (nearly 70), which have not been included in the previous groups because they have shown a great variability for some of the characters within each accession.

Despite the established groupings, a great diversity for a wide number of characters remains within each type. At this moment a cataloguing task is underway, distributing each type in groups according to their potentially interesting commercial characters in order to produce a catalogue which will include all the available melon accessions of the Genebank of the Polytechnical University of Valencia. In the characterizations carried out, there are some accessions of almost all types, which due to their good agronomic behavior and fruit features could be competitive with the present commercial hybrid varieties.

Table 1 shows the characters used in the grouping done, as well as the number of accessions belonging to each type, excepting those types containing a low number of accessions as 'Cantalupo' (6 accessions of 'Cantalupo americano' and 8 of 'Cantalupo charentais), 'Hilo Carret' (5 accessions) and 'Alficoz' (4 accessions).

In addition to this collecting, characterization and multiplication works, trials for testing to dieback (4) and yellowing (5) diseases and stress conditions have been carried out. Resistance to salinity has been shown by some accessions (1).

Conservation of this kind of materials is highly interesting as it represents a great source of variability which could be very useful for genetic breeders, both characters currently demanded by the market and others that would possibly be interesting in the future.

Table 1. Characters used and number of accessions for each type in the grouping performed.

'Amarillo' Type
Time of Maturity
Skin Netted
Skin Texture
Ribbing
Num. of Accessions
Early
Yes
4
Yes
Indifferent
No
2
No
Smooth
No
8
Wrinkled
No
13
Intermediate
Yes
Smooth
No
12
Wrinkled
Yes
2
No
5
No
Smooth
No
21 (Oblate)
11 (Globular)
Late
No
Wrinkled
No
11
89
'Piel de Sapo' Type
Skin Texture
Fruit Shape
Ribbing
Num. of Accessions
Wrinkled
Ovate
No
15
Elliptical
No
21
Oblate
No
10
Smooth or Finally Wrinkled
Ovate
Yes
3
No
10
Elliptical
Yes
1
No
26
Oblate
No
6
92
'Rochet' Type
Skin Texture
Skin Netted
Fruit Shape
Num. of Accessions
Smooth
Yes
Ovate
8
No
Ovate
17
Eliptical
10
Wrinkled
Yes
Ovate
5
Eliptical
18
No
Ovate
6
Eliptical
13
Oblate
2
79
'Tendral' Type
Skin Colour
Skin Texture
Fruit Shape
Num. of Accessions
Green
Fairly Wrinkled
Ovate
4
Eliptical
4
Very Wrinkled
Ovate
6
Globular
1
Elliptical
10
Very Dark Green
Fairly Wrinkled
Ovate
11
Elliptical
2
Very Wrinkled
Ovate
5
Globular
3
Elliptical
8
54
'Blanco' Type
Skin Netted
Skin Texture
Num. of Accessions
Yes
Smooth
4
Wrinkled
3
No
Smooth
8
Wrinkled
8
23
'Un-Named' Type
Skin Texture
Fruit Colour
Fruit Shape
Num. of Accessions
Smooth
Pale Green
Elliptical
12
Globular
2
Yellow with Green Strips
Ovatw
3
Green
Ovate-Globular
2
Pyriform
4
Elliptical-Cylindrical
3
Wrinkled
Yellowish
Elliptical
14
Cylindrical
2
Green
Elliptical
17
Ovate-Globular
5
Very Dark Green
Ovate-Elliptical
4
Cylindrical
1
79

Literature Cited

  1. Anastasio, G., G. Palomares, F. Nuez, M.S. Catala, and J. Costa. 1987. Salt tolerance among Spanish cultivars of Cucumis melo. Cucurbit Gen. Coop. 10:41-42.
  2. Gomez-Guillamon, M.O., J. Abadia, J. Cuatero, C. Cortes, and F. Nuez. 1985. Characterization of melon cultivars. Cucurbit Gen. Coop. 8:39-40.
  3. Nuez, F., G. Anastasio, C. Cortes, J. Cuarto, M.L. Gomez-Guillamon, and J. Costa. 1986. Germplasm Resources of Cucumis melo L. ion Spain. Cucurbit Gen. Coop. 9:60-63.
  4. Nuez, F. and J. Esteva. 1993. Resistance to Melon Dieback in Spanish Landraces of Melon. Cucurbit Gen. Coop. 16:37-38.
  5. Nuez, F., J. Esteva, C. Soria, and M.L. Gomez-Guillamon. 1991. Search for Sources of Resistance to a Whitefly Transmitted Yellowing Disease in Melon. Cucurbit Gen. Coop. 14:59-60.
  6. Nuez, F., O, Fernandez de Cordova, and M.J. Diez. 1992. Collecting vegetable germplasm in the Canary Islands. FAO/IBVPGR. Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter 90:34-35.
  7. Nuez, F., P. Fernandez de Cordova, and M.J. Diez. 1992. Collecting vegetable germplasm in the Iberian Peninsula. FAO/IBGR. Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter 90:31-33.
  8. Nuez, F. C. Ferrando, M.J. Diez, J. Costa, M. S. Catala, J. Cuatero, and M.L. Gomez-Guillamon. 1988. Collecting Cucumis melo L. in Spain. Cucurbit Gen. Coop. 11:54-56.

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the financing entities formerly cited for the subsidy of most part of the works included in this paper.

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