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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 18:52-54 (article 25) 1995

Germplasm Resources of Citrullus lanatus in the Genebank of the Polytechnic University of Valencia

Fernandez de Cordova, P., M.J. Diez, A. Iglesias and F. Nuez

Departmento de Biotechnologia, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, 46022, Valencia, Spain

The Genebank of the Polytechnic University of Valencia holds 5436 accessions of vegetable species. Of these, 2221 of them belong to the Cucurbitaceae, 201 of which are watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matson and Nakai). Approximately one third of the accessions have already been characterized, with the others in the process of characterization.

Most of the watermelon accessions were collected in Spain. Some of them come from Latin-America, the Mediterranean basin and a few from other countries (1, 3, 4). An important number of accessions were collected in the states of Cataluna (27% of accessions), Valencia (18%), Canarias (16%) and Andalucia (14%) (Fig. 1). Andalucia and Valencia are the two principal watermelon producers in Spain. In these areas, and in Cataluna, the majority of the crop is irrigated. Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha occupy third and fourth places, respectively, in relation to yield. Nevertheless, this is a secondary crop in these areas and is grown as a dry land crop.

The following are the characteristics recorded in field trials:

  • Fruit characteristics: shape, skin color, spots on the skin, blossom scar, weight, longitudinal and transverse sections, skin width, flesh color,.color of the cortical zonal and 0 Brix.
  • Vegetative characteristics: leaf length and width, number of leaf lobes, shape of the first lobe (double or single), width of the lobes.
  • Other agricultural characteristics: fruit set, set homogeneity, number of fruits per plant, agricultural interest.

Accessions regenerated and characterized have been classified into groups, depending on fruit weight, shape, skin color, flesh color and seed coat color (2, 5). Table 1 shows the accessions grouped by fruit size, and their place of origin.

Table 1. Characteristics of Citrullus lanatus accessions grouped by fruit size.

Skin color
Fruit surface
Flesh color
Seed coat color
Small-fruited accessions (<4 kg)
globular light green netted, lighter white black CA-CI-4
      pink tan V-CI-17
        black CA-CI-2, CA-CI-7, V-CI-3, V-CI-14, V-CI-30-A-CI-3
  dark green smooth pink tan MU-CI-3
      red black AN-CI-10, AN-CI-13
    netted, darker pink tan MU-CI-2, AN-CI-1, AN-CI-15, CL-CI-11, V-CL-33
oval light green netted, darker white tan AN-CI-26-(1)
        black AN-CI-26-(2)
      pink black V-CI-31, CM-CI-6, CM-CI-11-(1)
  dark green smooth pink tan E-CI-4, A-CI-4
Medium-fruited accessions (4-6 kg)
globular light green smooth red tan AN-CI-7
    netted, darker white tan CM-CI-I
        black V-CI-32
      yellow black AN-CI-14
      pink black AN-CI-16, AN-CI-2, V-CI-21, CM-CI-7-(1)
      red black AN-CI-25, V-CI-16-(1), V-CI-16-(2)
  dark green smooth pink tan V-CI-18, CM-CI-2, AN-CI-14
        black A-CI-6
      red white C-CI-I
      red tan CA-CI-8-, CM-CI-11-(2)
      red black C-CI-3
    netted, lighter red tan CM-CI-7-(2)
    netted, darker red black AN-CI-6-V-CI-16-(2)
elliptical light green netted, darker pink tan 11620
Large-fruited accessions (608 kg)
globular light green smooth red black 11621, 10357
    netted, darker red black CA-CI-17
elliptical light green smooth pink tan CA-CI-5
Very-large-fruited acessions (8012 kg)
globular dark green smooth pink black CA-CI-1
elliptical light green smooth pink black 10198
    netted, lighter pink tan 10278
      red black V-CI-15, 9599

zIn the accessions collected in Spain, the first letters of the code indicate the place of origin: Aragon (A), Andalucia (AN), Cataluna (C), Castilla-La Mancha (CM), Castilla-Leon (CL), Extremadura (E), Murcia (MU), and Valencia (V). An exclusively numeric code has been given to accessions coming from other countries.

Figure 1

Acknowledgements: Expeditions for material collecting for the Polytechnic University of Valencia Genebank have been subsidized by IBPGR and INIA.

Literature Cited

  1. Iglesias, A., M.J. Diez and F. Nuez. 1994. Recursos Genetiocos de Cucurbitaceas en el Banco de Germoplasma de la U.P.V. Actas de Horticultura 12:85-89.
  2. International Organization for Standardization, Fruits and Vegetables. 1989 Morfological and structural terminology, Part 2. International-Standard: 1965-2; 1989, 31 pp.
  3. Nuez, F., M.J. Diez, G. Palomares, C. Ferrando, J. Cuartero and J. Costa. 1987. germplasm resources of Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matson and Nakai from Spain. Cucurbit Genet. Coop. Rept. 10:64-65.
  4. Nuez, F., P. Fernandez de Cordova and M.J. Diez. 1992. Collecting vegetable germplasm in the Canary Islands. FAO/IBPGR. Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter 90:34-35.
  5. Trisonthi, C. 1992. Description and identification key for some edible tropical fruit. Fruits 47:425-449.
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