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40 Pages

Hybrid Melon Development

Melon (Cucumis melo L„ 2n = 2x = 24) is annual climbing, creeping or trailing vine of length up to 3 m. The dessert types quench thirst and add to the

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1300/J153v06n04_02 323

nutrient content of main diet. Different melon types like netted, salmon flesh cantaloupe, the smooth skinned green fleshed ‘Honey Dew’, the wrinkled­ skinned white fleshed ‘Golden Beauty’ and several other melons are an un­ avoidable item of western dietary. Other forms with very different in plant and fruit characters are found in India. In addition, several wild form and non desert types are found in Africa and India. Edible portion of melon contain wa­ ter (90 percent) and carbohydrate (10 percent). Melons are good sources of vi­ tamin A. The yellow and orange fleshed melon contains more than 350 mg of p-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. Cantaloupe contains 45 mg and Honey Dew contains 32 mg of vitamin C per 100 g of edible portion. It is an unique crop where in one hand several pollination control mechanism, viz., genic male sterility, monoecy and gynoecy are available and had been exploited suc­ cessfully for the commercial hybrid seed production, whereas in other hand most of the varieties had been developed through conventional breeding by continuous inbreeding and selection without loosing vigor, which is usually unexpected in cross pollinated crop.