Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 13, 2007
Publication Date: June 1, 2007
Citation: Waters, J.R., Bang, H.Z., Davis, A.R., Leskovar, D.W., King, S.R. 2007. Semi-quantitative measurement of carotenoid development in four watermelon colors: A discussion of the impact of ploidy and other genetic factors [abstract]. HortScience. 42(3):439.
Carotenoids are important health promoting compounds which act through anti-oxidant activity to reduce the risk of some cancers, heart disease, macular degeneration, and may even improve immune responses. Watermelon is an important source of lycopene and other carotenoids. Understanding the development of these compounds in the growing fruit may improve our ability to promote increased levels or accumulation of specific carotenoids. This study measured the accumulation of 35 carotenoid species at four time points post pollination (10, 20, 40, and 55 days) in four watermelon colors at two ploidy levels (2n and 3n). The resulting patterns of development align well with putative dominance regiments, known points of mutation in the pathway and may be able to predict other disruptions leading to color change. From this, hypotheses about regulation of the watermelon carotenogenic pathway were formulated. Finally, this developmental data indicates fundamental differences in patterns of carotenoid development between diploid and triploid varieties. It is critical to understand the construction and regulation of the carotenoid pathway before successful attempts can be made in manipulating the pathway to obtain a product of even higher health promoting potential.