Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 27, 2004
Publication Date: June 1, 2004
Citation: Davis, A.R., Perkins Veazie, P.M., Collins, J.K., Roberts, W. 2004. Low sugar watermelon for the diabetic consumer [abstract]. HortScience. 39(3):654.
Conventional breeding techniques have increased the immediately available sugar content, or total soluble solids (TSS), in watermelon up to 14 percent. This results in a sweet flavor but also makes watermelon off limits to people concerned about dietary sugar intake. We screened watermelon lines from the Southern Regional PI Station (Griffins, GA) for TSS content and compared the value to color development. We showed that pigmented watermelon flesh tends to have higher TSS content than non-pigmented, but pigment production can occur without high TSS production. We found pigmented fruit with a TSS content of as low as 3.1%. Since this screening suggested that fully pigmented low sugar watermelon can be produced, we began making crosses to develop a low sugar high pigment watermelon. Currently we have a line that produces crisp red fleshed watermelon with a TSS content of around 5%. This line is heterogeneous for expression so further selections need to be performed. Analysis of the sugar composition of this selection is underway to determine amounts of fructose, glucose, and sucrose sugars.