Biotechnological Approaches of Watermelon to Meet the Future Challenges for Next Decades
Advances in Bioscience and Bioengineering
Volume 1, Issue 2, August 2013, Pages: 40-48
Received: Sep. 27, 2013; Published: Nov. 20, 2013
Views 2940      Downloads 248
Rubaiyat Sharmin Sultana, Department of Botany, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi 6205, Bangladesh
Md. Mahabubur Rahman, Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan (Present address)
Article Tools
Follow on us
Watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] is widely produced and consumed around the world as fleshy fruits. According to consumer and grower preferences, and market conditions (i.e. seedless varieties, good shelf life, etc.), many different cultivars are grown. The largest producer of watermelon in the world is China, is accounted for over 50% production by weight. Increasing in the production of melons is required for a growing population over the next decades. The production of total watermelons approximately doubled in 2009 from 2005 and currently it stabled. For consequences of climate alterations, declining agricultural land and water resources, and assailing microbes and pests, the demands of watermelon fruits are worsen. The watermelons production can be reached at an efficient level with cultivation of elite varieties such as, drought tolerance, disease resistant, high yield, which will be pivotal to success. It is important to improve of watermelon with the traits such as, seedless, good shelf life, excellent flesh color and good shapes that will make them more attractive to consumers. In order to generate elite varieties in watermelon, plant breeding with respect to conventional or molecular breeding methods must be reoriented to meet the global demand for next decades. Reports in here reveal some advanced work related to biotechnology that pivotal for enhancement of watermelon production.
Biotechnology, Elite Variety, Genetic Information, Genetic Transformation, Micropropagation, Watermelon, Molecular Breeding
To cite this article
Rubaiyat Sharmin Sultana, Md. Mahabubur Rahman, Biotechnological Approaches of Watermelon to Meet the Future Challenges for Next Decades, Advances in Bioscience and Bioengineering. Vol. 1, No. 2, 2013, pp. 40-48. doi: 10.11648/
Compton ME, Gray DJ, and Gaba VP (2004) Use of tissue culture and biotechnology for the genetic improvement of watermelon. Plant Cell, Tiss. Org. Cult., 77 :231–243.
FAOSTAT (2011) FAO statistical databases data sets. Available at
Chakraborty S, Tiedemann AV and Teng PS (2000) Climate change: potential impact on plant diseases. Environ. Pollution, 108: 317-326.
Evans A (2009) The Feeding of the Nine Billion: Global Food Security for the 21st Century. London: Chatham House.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2012) Summary for Policymakers. In: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, CB Field, V Barros, TF Stocker, D Qin, DJ Dokken, KL Ebi, MD Mastrandrea, KJ Mach, G-K Plattner, SK Allen, M Tignor, and PM Midgley (eds.). Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. pp. 17-29.
Prestidge RA and Pottinger RP (1990) The Impact of Climate Change on Pests, Diseases, Weeds and Beneficial Organisms Present in New Zealand Agricultural and Horticultural Systems. MAF Technology, Ruakura Agricultural Centre, Hamilton, NZ.
Sutherst RW, Yonow T, Chakraborty S, O'Donnell C and White N (1996) A Generic Approach to Dening Impacts of Climate Change on Pests, Weeds and Diseases in Australasia. In: Greenhouse, Coping with Climate Change, WJ Bouma, GI Pearman, and MR Manning (Eds.). CSIRO, Australia, pp. 281-307.
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) (2009) Climate Change, Variability and Sea- Level Change. Available at
Levi A, Davis A, Hernandez A, Wechter P, Thimmapuram J, Trebitsh T, Tadmor Y, Katzir N, Portnoy V and King S (2006) Genes expressed during the development and ripening of watermelon fruit. Plant Cell Rep., 25: 1233–1245.
Ok S, Chung YS, Um BY, Park MS, Bae J-M, Lee SJ and Shin JS (2000) Identification of expressed sequence tags of watermelon (Citrulus lanatus) leaf at the vegetative stage. Plant Cell Rep., 19: 932-937.
Guo S, Liu J, Zheng Y, Huang M, Zhang H, Gong G, He H, Ren Y, Zhong S, Fei Z and Xu Y (2011) Characterization of transcriptome dynamics during watermelon fruit development: sequencing, assembly, annotation and gene expression profiles. BMC Genomics, 12: 454.
Wechter WP, Levi A, Harris KR, Davis AR, Fei Z, Katzir N, Giovannoni JJ, Salman-Minkov A, Hernandez A, Thimmapuram J, Tadmor Y, Portnoy V and Trebitsh T (2008) Gene expression in developing watermelon fruit. Genomics, 9: 275.
Poole CF, Grimball PC and Porter DR (1941) Inheritance of seed characters in watermelon. J. Agr. Res., 63: 433-456.
McKay FW (1936) Factor interaction in Citrullus. Seed coat color, fruit shape and markings show evidence of Mendelian inheritance in watermelon crosses. J. Hered., 27 :110-112.
Kanda T (1951) The inheritance of seed-coat colouring in the watermelon. Jap. J. Genet., 7: 30-48.
Tanaka T, Wimol S and Mizutani T (1995) Inheritance of fruit shape and seed size of watermelon. J. Jap. Soc. Hort. Sci., 64: 543-548.
Mohr HC (1953) A mutant leaf form in watermelon. Proc. Assn. Southern Agr. Workers 50:129-130
Provvidenti R (1994) Inheritance of a partial chlorophyll deficiency in watermelon activated by low temperatures at the seedling stage. HortSci., 29: 1062-1063.
Warid A and Abd-El-Hafez AA (1976) Inheritance of marker genes of leaf color and ovary shape in watermelon, Citrullus vulgaris Schrad. The Libyan J. Sci., 6A: 1-8.
Rhodes BB (1986) Genes affecting foliage color in watermelon. J. Hered ., 77: 134-135.
Zhang XP, Rhodes BB and Bridges WC (1996b) Phenotype, inheritance and regulation of expression of a new virescent mutant in watermelon: juvenile albino. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci., 121: 609-615.
Poole CF (1944) Genetics of cultivated cucurbits. J. Hered., 35: 122-128.
Mohr HC (1956) Mode of inheritance of the bushy growth characteristics in watermelon. Proc. Assn. Southern Agr. Workers, 53: 174.
Mohr HC and Sandhu MS (1975) Inheritance and morphological traits of a double recessive dwarf in watermelon, Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Mansf. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci., 100: 135-137.
Dyutin KE and Afanas'eva EA (1987) Inheritance of the short vine trait in watermelon. Cytology & Genetics (Tsitologiya i Genetika), 21: 71-73.
Liu PBW and Loy JB (1972) Inheritance and morphology of two dwarf mutants in watermelon. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci., 97: 745-748.
Huang H, Zhang X, Wei Z, Li Q and Li X (1998) Inheritance of male-sterility and dwarfism in watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. and Nakai]. Scientia Horticulturae, 74: 175-181.
Lin D, Wang T, Wang Y, Zhang X and Rhodes BB (1992) The effect of the branchless gene bl on plant morphology in watermelon. Cucurbit Genet Coop Rep., 15: 74-75
Rhodes BB, Zhang XP, Baird VB and Knapp H (1999) A tendrilless mutant in watermelon: phenotype and inheritance. Cucurbit Genetics Coop Rep., 22: 28-30.
Rosa JT (1928) The inheritance of flower types in Cucumis and Citrullus. Hilgardia, 3: 233-250.
Kwon YS and Dane F (1999) Inheritance of green flower color (gf) in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus). Cucurbit Genet Coop Rep., 22: 31-33.
Jiang XT and Lin DP (2007) Discovery of watermelon gynoecious gene, gy. Acta Hort. Sinica, 34: 141-142.
Ray DT and Sherman JD (1988) Desynaptic chromosome behavior of the gms mutant in watermelon. J. Hered., 79: 397-399.
Watts VM (1962) A marked male-sterile mutant in watermelon. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci., 81: 498-505.
Watts VM (1967) Development of disease resistance and seed production in watermelon stocks carrying the msg gene. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci., 91: 579-583.
Zhang XP and Wang M (1990) A genetic male-sterile (ms) watermelon from China. Cucurbit Genetics Coop Rep., 13: 45.
Dyutin KE and Sokolov SD (1990) Spontaneous mutant of watermelon with male sterility. Cytology & Genetics (Tsitologiya i Genetika), 24: 56-57.
Poole CF and Grimball PC (1945) Interaction of sex, shape, and weight genes in watermelon. J. Agr. Res., 71: 533-552.
Weetman LM (1937) Inheritance and correlation of shape, size, and color in the watermelon, Citrullus vulgaris Schrad. Iowa Agr. Expt. Sta. Res. Bul., 228: 222-256.
Porter DR (1937) Inheritance of certain fruit and seed characters in watermelons. Hilgardia, 10: 489-509.
Chambliss OL, Erickson HT and Jones CM (1968) Genetic control of bitterness in watermelon fruits. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci., 93: 539-546.
Shimotsuma M (1963) Cytogenetical studies in the genus Citrullus. VII. Inheritance of several characters in watermelons. Jap. J. Breeding, 13: 235-240.
Henderson WR, Scott GH and Wehner TC (1998) Interaction of flesh color genes in watermelon. J. Hered., 89: 50-53.
Henderson WR (1989) Inheritance of orange flesh color in watermelon. Cucurbit Genet Coop Rep., 12: 59-63.
Gusmini G and Wehner TC (2006) Qualitative inheritance of rind pattern and flesh color in watermelon. J. Hered., 97: 177-185.
Barham WS (1956) A study of the Royal Golden watermelon with emphasis on the inheritance of the chlorotic condition characteristic of this variety. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci., 67: 487-489.
Robinson RW, Munger HM, Whitaker TW and Bohn GW (1976) Genes of the Cucurbitaceae. HortSci., 11: 554-568.
Layton DV (1937) The parasitism of Colletotrichum lagenarium (Pass.) Ells. and Halst. Iowa Agr. Expt. Sta. Ann. Bul., 223.
Winstead NN, Goode MJ and Barham WS (1959) Resistance in watermelon to Colletotrichum lagenarium races 1, 2, and 3. Plant Dis. Rep., 43: 570-577.
Henderson WR, Jenkins SF Jr and Rawlings JO (1970) The inheritance of Fusarium wilt resistance in watermelon, Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Mansf. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci., 95: 276- 282.
Netzer D and Weintall C (1980) Inheritance of resistance to race 1 of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum. Plant Dis., 64: 863-854.
Norton JD (1979) Inheritance of resistance to gummy stem blight in watermelon. HortSci., 14: 630-632.
Robinson RW, Provvidenti R and Shail JW (1975) Inheritance of susceptibility to powdery mildew in the watermelon. J. Hered., 66: 310-311.
Guner N, PesicVan-Esbroeck Z and Wehner TC (2008) Inheritance of resistance to Papaya ringspot virus-watermelon strain in watermelon. J. Hered., 90: 107-115.
Provvidenti R (1991) Inheritance of resistance to the Florida strain of zucchini yellow mosaic virus in watermelon. HortSci., 26: 407-408.
Guner N, Wehner TC (2008) Inheritance of resistance to Zucchini yellow mosaic virus in watermelon. J. Hered., 71: 77-85.
Xu Y, Kang D, Shi Z, Shen H and Wehner TC (2004) Inheritance of resistance to zucchini yellow mosaic virus and watermelon mosaic virus in watermelon. J. Hered., 96: 498-502.
Khandelwal RC and Nath P (1978) Inheritance of resistance to fruit fly in watermelon. Can. J. Genet. Cytol., 20: 31-34.
Vashishta RN and Choudhury B (1972) Inheritance of resistance to red pumpkin beetle in muskmelon, bottle gourd and watermelon. Proc. 3rd Intl. Symposium Sub-Trop. Hort., 1: 75-81.
Provvidenti R (1992) Cold resistance in accessions of watermelon from Zimbabwe. Cucurbit Genet Coop Rep., 15: 67-68.
Provvidenti R (2003) Naming the gene conferring resistance to cool temperatures in watermelon. Cucurbit Genet Coop Rep., 26: 31.
Choi PS, Soh WY, Kim YS, Yoo OJ and Liu JR (1994) Genetic transformation and plant regeneration of watermelon using Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Plant Cell Rep., 13: 344-348.
Tricoli DM, Carney KJ, Russell PF, Quemada HD, McMaster RJ, Reynolds JF and Deng RZ (2002) Transgenic plants expressing DNA constructs containing a plurality of genes to impart virus resistance. United States Patent No. 6,337,431.
Akashi K, Morikawa K and Yokota A (2005) Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system for the drought and excess light stress-tolerant wild watermelon (Citrullus lanatus). Plant Biotechnol., 22(1): 13–18.
Reed J, Privalle L, Powell ML, Meghji M, Dawson J, Dunder E, Suttie J, Wenck A, Launis K, Kramer C, Chang YF, Hansen G, Wright M and Chang YF (2001) Phosphomannose isomerase: an efficient selectable marker for plant transformation. In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol. Plant, 37: 127–132.
Compton ME, Gray DJ, Hiebert E and Lin CM (1993) Expression of the β-glucuronidase gene in watermelon cotyledon explants following particle bombardment or infection with Agrobacterium tumefaciens. HortSci., 28: 138.
Compton ME, Gray DJ, Hiebert E and Lin CM (1994) Microprojectile bombardment prior to co-cultivation with Agrobacterium improves GUS expression in watermelon cotyledons. In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol., 30A: 62.
Rane KK and Latin RX (1992) Bacterial fruit blotch of watermelon: association of the pathogen with seed. Plant Dis., 76: 509–512.
Jaynes JM, Xanthopoulos KG, Destefano-Beltran L and Dodds JH (1987) Increasing bacterial disease resistance in plants utilizing antibacterial genes from insects. Bio-Essays., 6: 263–270.
Boyhan GJ, Gudauskas RT, Norton JD and Abrahams BR (1994) Evaluation of watermelon and related germplasm for resistance to the Egyptian strain of zucchini yellow mosaic virus. Plant Dis., 78: 100.
Chen WS, Chiu CC, Liu HY, Lee TL, Cheng JT, Lin CC, Wu YJ and Chang HY (1998) Gene transfer via pollen-tube pathway for anti-fusarium wilt in watermelon. Biochem. Mol. Biol. Int., 46: 1201–1209.
Park SM, Lee JS, Jenal S, Jeon SL, Shin YS, Her NH, Lee JH, Lee M, Ryu KH, Yang SG and Harn CH (2005) Transgenic watermelon rootstock resistant to CGMMV (Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus) infection. Plant Cell Rep., 24: 350–356.
Lin C-Y, Ku H-M, Chiang Y-H, Ho H-Y, Yu T-A and Jan F-J (2012) Development of transgenic watermelon resistant to Cucumber mosaic virus and Watermelon mosaic virus by using a single chimeric transgene construct. Transgenic Res., 21: 983–993.
Ellul P, Rios G, Atare A, Roig LA, Serrano R and Moreno V (2003) The expression of Saccharomyces cerevisiae HAL1 gene increases salt tolerance in transgenic watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai.]. Theor. Appl. Genet., 107: 462–469.
Kajikawa, M., Morikawa, K., Abe, Y., Yokota, A., and Akashi, K. (2010). Establishment of a transgenic hairy root system in wild and domesticated watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) for studying root vigor under drought. Plant Cell Rep., 29: 771–778.
Anonymous M (2002). Information Systems for Biotechnology. Available at
Adelberg J and Rhodes BB (1989) Micropropagation from zygotic tissues of watermelon. Proc. Cucurbitaceae USDA/ARS, 89: 110–112.
Ahad A, Islam R, Hossian M, Khalekuzzaman M and Joarder OI (1994) Plant regeneration from immature and mature embryo axes of watermelon. Plant Tissue Cult., 2: 39-44.
Sultana RS and Bari MA (2003) Effect of different plant growth regulators on direct regeneration of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus Thumb.). Plant Tissue Cult., 13(2): 173-177.
Compton ME and Gray DJ (1993) Shoot organogenesis and plant regeneration from cotyledons of diploid, triploid and tetraploid watermelon. J. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci., 118: 151-157.
Sultana RS, Bari MA, Rahman MH, Rahman MM, Siddique NA and Khatun N (2004) In vitro regeneration of plantlets from leaf explant of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus Thunb.). Biotech., 3: 131-135.
Kahar LK, Karande SS and Belhekar BM (2009) Study of biochemical mechanism of embryogenesis in watermelon by using molecular marker. Intl. J. Plant Sci., 4(1) :333-337.
Sultana RS and Rahman MM (2012) Ontogeny of embryogenic aggregates in suspension culture of diploid watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.)]. Intl. J. Agron. Agri. Res., 2: 40-46.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (2011) Save and grow - a policy maker’s guide to the sustainable intensification of smallholder crop production. Rome.
Lusser M. Parisi C. Plan D and Rodríguez-Cerezo E (2011) New Plant Breeding Techniques. In: State-of-the-art and Prospects for Commercial Development, M Lusser, C Parisi, D Plan, E Rodríguez-Cerezo (eds.). Luxembourg, Publications Office of the European Union. pp. 104-110.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186