Diversity in melon flesh color: Tools for genetic analysis

Autores UPV
Revista Acta Horticulturae


Flesh color is one of the most variable traits in melon. There exist cultivars with different color flesh, depending on the carotenoid accumulation pattern during fruit ripening. The content in these carotenoid compounds was measured in 90 different genotypes representing the diversity of the species. The most abundant carotenoid in most samples was β-carotene. As expected, the orange color of the fruit flesh from most cantalupensis correlated with the highest levels of β-carotene. Interestingly some Italian and French landraces had higher β-carotene amounts than commercial cultivars. Also significant amounts of other carotenoids, such as lutein and β-cryptoxanthin were found in these and other exotic accessions, belonging to the ameri and conomon groups. ß-carotene and ß-cryptoxanthin show provitamin A activity, and lutein and zeaxanthin are thought to play a role in preventing macular degeneration. Then this germplasm is a valuable reservoir to add nutritional value to the melon commercial cultivars. Most of the genotypes analyzed were recently resequenced and the population structure has been studied.