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Research Project: Genomics and Genetic Improvement of Disease Resistance and Horticultural Characteristics of Watermelon, Broccoli, and Leafy Brassicas

Location: Vegetable Research

Title: A catalog of natural products occurring in watermelon - Citrullus lanatus

item SOROKINA, MARIA - Friedrick-Schiller University
item MCCAFFREY, KIRA - University Of Konstanz
item ORDOVAS, JOSE - Tufts University
item DEATON, ERIN - North Carolina State University
item MA, GUOYING - North Carolina State University
item PERKINS-VEAZIE, PENELOPE - North Carolina State University
item STEINBECK, CHRISTOPH - Friedrick-Schiller University
item Levi, Amnon
item Parnell, Laurence

Submitted to: Frontiers in Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/9/2021
Publication Date: 9/14/2021
Citation: Sorokina, M., Mccaffrey, K.S., Ordovas, J.M., Deaton, E.E., Ma, G., Perkins-Veazie, P.M., Steinbeck, C., Levi, A., Parnell, L.D. 2021. A catalog of natural products occurring in watermelon - Citrullus lanatus. Frontiers in Nutrition. 8:602.

Interpretive Summary: Sweet dessert watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is an important crop throughout the world, yielding a food with high nutritional value and health benefits. Yet, complete knowledge of those health benefits is lacking, in part because there is no single catalog of the small molecule compounds naturally occurring in watermelon. We collected data on over 1600 different small molecules found in watermelon from over 80 resources. The catalog lists each chemical compound, and in which part of the plant it was detected, along with technical information useful to nutrition scientists, chemists and plant scientists. This extensive catalog of the watermelon compounds will be an important resource for both human nutrition research, and breeders who develop improved watermelon varieties.

Technical Abstract: Sweet dessert watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is one of the most important vegetable crops consumed throughout the world, and has a high nutritional value and health benefits due to its chemical composition. The present manuscript presents a catalog of 1679 small molecules present in the watermelon and their cheminformatics analysis for diverse features. In this catalog, the phytochemicals are associated with the literature describing their presence in the watermelon plant, and when possible, concentration values in various plant parts (flesh, seeds, leaves, roots, rind). Also cataloged are the chemical classes, molecular weight and formula, chemical structure, and certain physical and chemical properties for each phytochemical. In our view, knowing precisely what is in what we eat, as this catalog does, supports both the rationale for certain controlled feeding studies in the field of precision nutrition, and plant breeding efforts for the development of new varieties.