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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Inheritance of Egusi Seed Type in Watermelon (Citrullus Lanatus Var. Lanatus)

Authors
item Gusmini, G. - NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV
item Wehner, T. - NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV
item Jarret, Robert

Submitted to: Journal of Heredity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 2003
Publication Date: June 6, 2004
Citation: Gusmini, G., Wehner, T., Jarret, R.L. 2004. Inheritance of egusi seed type in watermelon (citrullus lanatus var. lanatus). Journal of Heredity 95:268-270.

Interpretive Summary: A type of watermelon common in African has immature seeds that are covered with a mucilagenous coating. Watermelons of this type are known as 'egusi.' The seeds of egusi-type watermelons are eaten either raw or cooked by the peoples of Nigeria. We studied the inheritance of the egusi trait by hybridizing a commercial watermelon cultivar with an egusi-type watermelon and scoring the fruit in subsequent generations for the presence or absence of the egusi seed trait. Our analysis revealed that the egusi trait is controlled by a single gene which we designate as 'eg.'

Technical Abstract: An unusual seed mutant in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var4. Lanatus) has seeds with a fleshy pericarp, commonly called 'Egusi' seeds. The origin of the phenotype is not known, but it is widely cultivated in Nigeria for the high protein and carbohydrate content of the edible seeds. Egusi seeds have thick, fleshy pericarp when almost mature, but appear normal when harvested at the mature stage and dried. We studied the inheritance of this phenotype in crosses of normal seeded 'Charleston Gray' and 'Calhoun Gray' with two plant introduction accessions, PI 490383w and 560006, having the Egusi seed type. We found that Egusi seed type is controlled by a singe recessive gene, and suggest the symbol 'eg'.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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