Historic note

Group Title: Leesburg ARC Research Report - Leesburg Agricultural Research Center ; WG74-5
Title: watermelon breeding program for Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00076027/00001
 Material Information
Title: watermelon breeding program for Florida
Series Title: Leesburg ARC Research Report - Leesburg Agricultural Research Center ; WG74-5
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Crall, J. M.
Publisher: Agricultural Research Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date: 1974
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States -- Florida
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00076027
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 127144623

Table of Contents
    Historic note
        Unnumbered ( 1 )
        Page 1
        Page 2
Full Text


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida

A Watermelon Breeding Program for Florida

J. M. Crall

Agricultural Research Center, Leesburg
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida

In 1961 a program was initiated to combine the high type resistance
to fusarium wilt found in Texas W5, Summit, Calhoun Gray, Louisiana
Queen, and perhaps some other varieties, with anthracnose (Race 1)
resistance in a high quality shipping-type watermelon. Smokylee,
which was released in 1971, was developed from this program. It
was selected from a Texas W5 x Charleston Gray cross. Other lines
in advanced generations from similar crosses are being evaluated
for potential release. Most promising are a Watson-type line and
round melons, with various rind colors and patterns, that are very
similar to Smokylee in wilt resistance, anthracnose resistance,
and fruit qualities. More recently, an intense red flesh color
from certain Peacock lines was incorporated into a number of lines
of various fruit types.

In 1969 we began a series of crosses between our better large-
fruited lines and various small-fruited varieties, including New
Hampshire Midget, Sugar Baby and various small-fruited lines from
several foreign countries, especially Japan. The aim of this
part of the breeding program is to develop small-fruited varieties
with combined resistance to fusarium wilt and anthracnose, deep
red flesh color, and other desirable fruit qualities. We are
seeking to develop varieties that might be adapted to shipping
in cartons, mostly round shapes, in a range of sizes from 4 to 20
pounds. In 1973 these lines were mostly in the F3 or F4 generation.
They are still several years away from possible release.

Both greenhouse and field tests conducted in 1971-72 confirmed that
commercial seed stocks of Jubilee no longer had the same degree of
resistance to fusarium wilt as that found in original "breeder"
seed of Jubilee. Seed from some commercial seed stocks were almost
completely susceptible. Increases of seed from "breeder" stocks

(Summary of talk presented to Sixth Annual convention of Florida
Watermelon Growers and Distributors Association, Inc.; Orlando,
Fla., January 26, 1974)

Leesburg ARC Research Report WG74-5
300 copies
January 25, 1974 APR 1 1974



(made by us in the late summer of 1971) were made available to
commercial seedsmen for 1972 plantings, so that "registered"
(one generation removed from "foundation") seed of Jubilee was
available in good supply from various commercial seed sources
for the 1973 season. Our tests showed that plantings from such
seed are much more wilt resistant than plantings from previously
available commercial seed stocks. Reports from growers, also,
indicated a satisfactory reaction from their use in 1973 of
"registered" seed of Jubilee. Their results indicated that
plantings from "registered" seed were more resistant than plantings
from non-registered seed. We made a limited increase from original
"breeder" seed of Jubilee again in 1973, but work was initiated,
also, to attempt to stabilize wilt resistance in this variety.

Crosses were made in 1973 between some of our most promising
selection and several Kentucky short-internode lines. This is
the initial work in our program with such breeding material,
which are sometimes called "dwarf" or "bush" types. Although
dwarf or short-internode varieties of watermelons may well become
the type of the future, it will probably be at least ten years
before varieties can be developed with all the characters needed
for successful watermelon production in Florida.

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