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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Green-fleshed watermelon contains chlorophyll

Authors
item Davis, Angela
item Perkins Veazie, Penelope
item King, Stephen - TEXAS A&M
item Levi, Amnon

Submitted to: Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2008
Publication Date: July 2, 2010
Citation: Davis, A.R., Perkins Veazie, P.M., King, S.R., Levi, A. 2010. Green-fleshed watermelon contains chlorophyll. Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report. 31-32:8-10.

Interpretive Summary: Many popular and technical reports on watermelon ignore an uncommon color, green, even though mention of this color has been in the literature since 1901. However, what causes the green hue has not been reported. Since some cucurbits have chloroplasts, and chlorophyll in the flesh tissue, we surmised that the green may be chlorophyll. We analyzed watermelon species that demonstrated white to greenish-white flesh to determine if chlorophyll was present. We determined that chlorophyll is present in greenish-white watermelon species, but not present in the pure white samples tested. These results suggest that chlorophyll is imparting the green tint to greenish-fleshed watermelon species.

Technical Abstract: Many popular and technical reports on watermelon ignore an uncommon color, green, even though mention of this color has been in the literature since 1901. However, what causes the green hue has not been reported. Since some cucurbits have chloroplasts, and chlorophyll in the flesh tissue, we surmised that the green may be chlorophyll. We analyzed fourteen Citrullus spp. that demonstrated white to greenish-white flesh to determine if chlorophyll was present. HPLC revealed chlorophyll was present in the greenish-white samples tested, but not present in the pure white samples tested. Comparison of the sample peaks to chlorophyll standards verified chlorophyll peaks in the greenish-white Citrullus spp. These results suggest that chlorophyll is imparting the green tint to greenish-white-fleshed Citrullus spp.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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