We found that diploid seedless watermelon can be produced by pollination with partially functional pollen, which was irradiated with γ-rays at the doses of 600 and 800 Gy. The diploid seedless fruits were almost similar to normal fruits in development from pollination to maturity. The number of empty seeds in the diploid seedless fruits varied among the cultivars used. Seedless watermelon cultivars revealed a significant increase in total sugar and carotenoids (lycopene and gb-carotene) contents. The pollen tubes of the pollen subjected to γ-radiation penetrated normally into the synergid, and sperm cells were discharged. Subsequently, the egg nucleus and sperm nucleus became attached to each other in the egg cell and a globular embryo was formed. However, the embryo failed to differentiate the tissues and degenerated. It is suggested that seedless watermelon fruits induced by γ-rays are characterized by increasing yield and better quality due to higher carotenoid and total sugar contents and fruit weight. In some cultivars, there is a tendency in decreasing the thickness of rind.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 7, 2010
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