So last season I planted about 30 varieties of melons together for a mass cross. This season I planted the f1's of any yellow or orange melons I harvested last season for the beginnings of a landrace. I just harvested them and found about 90% are red fleshed. So obviously red is a dominant trait, and I assume the other 10% were selfed. does any body else know of other dominant/ recessive traits?
But in simple terms there are at least two yellow forms, one dominant and one recessive. I think there is also scarlet red and coral red. in addition to orange, white, and maybe pink?
Scarlet red flesh is dominant to coral red flesh? Coral red flesh is dominant to salmon yellow.
But i think Canary Yellow is dominant to red.
What is really interesting is that i personally find the Bright Canary Yellow fleshed to taste fantastic, perhaps even better than red. (which red i have no idea). Though not necessarily. But one thing i am pretty certain on is that i hate the taste of the Salmon yellows. I find they have a poor flavor and mealy grainy flesh that i just do not like. So in my population i am selecting out the salmon yellows which are recessive.
But even if you somehow had the canary yellows in your population i would think in an F1 that 50% chance would still give you 50% red fleshed just from luck of the draw.
Things are never so straight forward are they! I found my best tasting melon of the whole lot was a orange/salmon melon, I think it may have been the variety Orangeglo. And alot of the salmon and canary yellows came a close 2nd. Some reds were really nice , but there was just something subtle that was the extra factor for the orange/yellow for me. Plus most of the orange/yellows were first to ripen. These factors steered me to make a separate landrace of the bright coloured melons, I will still make a red LR for market sale, and maybe a grex for breeding material
The ones we liked best last couple seasons turned out to be bright yellow or bright pink. The pink ones have a rim of white against the skin. A more orange one tasted pretty good but had a weird mushy texture that nobody liked. I ignore the genetic complications and just replant based on flavor and production so pink or yellow is becoming dominate in my garden. Couple seasons ago I had a pink one with yellow swirls, everybody loved it but none showed up last year. I have noticed also that the best ones have small dark colored seeds.
Post by keen101 (Biolumo / Andrew B.) on Mar 11, 2018 11:22:44 GMT -5
Funny, my population is starting toward mostly canary yellows (with some really good reds left) but the best ones also tend to have small dark black seeds. So my population is heading toward dark small black seeds which is interesting.
This last season i started to not save seed from any that have blossom or fruit end rot. Most of the seeds I'm planting this year are old seed so i will need tondo that again. I might go one step furthur and at the first sign of puny growth or end rot i will rip the whole plant out of the ground giving the other plants more space and nutrients while putting selection pressure on disease-less plants and those that really thrive. They have mixed up genetics enough by now that i don't feel bad to eliminate some out of the population.
We've been working on 2 different watermelon projects for the last couple of years and will second the statement that watermelon colour genetics are complicated.
One project involves crossing Orangeglo with another orange fleshed watermelon with the hopes of getting a slightly smaller but more northern adapted version of Orangeglo. At first I thought I was getting contamination from my other project but last summer I had to conclude that no; every year my orange x orange cross will throw out at least one red meloned plant. They are often early and very good melons too which is a bit frustrating since they are exactly what I am looking for! Only RED.
Like keen101 (Biolumo / Andrew B.) many of my best melons (in the other project) have small black seeds, which seem to come along with very smooth crisp flesh. I'm pretty sure those traits come from Grover Delaney, which I got from Holly.
Post by keen101 (Biolumo / Andrew B.) on Mar 11, 2018 13:37:31 GMT -5
Info from the same link i posted above.
Several genes control flesh color in watermelon, producing scarlet red, coral red, orange, salmon yellow, canary yellow, or white. Genes conditioning flesh colors are B (Shimotsuma, 1963), C (Poole, 1944), i-C (Henderson et al., 1998), Wf (Shimotsuma, 1963), y (Porter, 1937) and yO (Henderson, 1989; Henderson et al., 1998). Canary yellow (C) is dominant to other colored flesh (c). Coral red flesh (YCrl) is dominant to salmon yellow (y).
Orange flesh (yO) is a member of multiple allelic system at that locus, where YCrl (coral red flesh) is dominant to both yO (orange flesh) and y (salmon yellow), and yO (orange flesh) is dominant to y (salmon yellow). In a separate study, two loci with epistatic interaction controlled white, yellow, and red flesh. Yellow flesh (B) is dominant to red flesh. The gene Wf is epistatic to B, so genotypes WfWf BB or WfWf bb were white fleshed, wfwf BB was yellow fleshed, and wfwf bb was red fleshed. Canary yellow flesh is dominant to coral red, and i-C inhibitory to C, resulting in red flesh. In the absence of i-C, C is epistatic to Y.
A single dominant gene, scarlet red produces the scarlet red flesh color (YScr) of 'Dixielee' and 'Red-N-Sweet' instead of the lighter, coral red (YCrl) flesh color of 'Angeleno Black Seeded' (Gusmini and Wehner, 2006). Scarlet red flesh (YScr) is dominant to coral red flesh (YCrl), orange flesh (yO) and salmon yellow flesh (y). The gene YScr is from 'Dixielee' and 'Red-N-Sweet', YCrl is from 'Angeleno' (black seeded), yO is from 'Tendersweet Orange Flesh', and y is from 'Golden Honey'.
Although flesh color is shown to be controlled by single genes, the fruit in a segregating generation from a cross between two different inbreds is often confusing. Often there are different flesh colors in different areas of the same fruit. One possible hypothesis to explain the presence of the abnormal types is that the expression of the pigment is caused by several different genes, one for each area of the fruit. Thus, the mixed colorations would have been caused by recombination of these genes. It may be useful to have a separate rating of the color of different parts of the flesh to determine whether there are genes controlling the color of each part: the endocarp between the carpel walls and the mesocarp (white rind); the flesh within the carpels, originating from the stylar column; and the carpel walls.
Post by keen101 (Biolumo / Andrew B.) on Mar 11, 2018 21:46:32 GMT -5
So, this discussion prompted me to take the photos available to me and to organize them in a simplified and easy to understand form. This is very basic at the moment, but it basically looks like there is a spectrum of "more color" to least color and is dominant-recessive in succession. This is not taking into account the canary yellow inhibitor gene (which i guess makes a canary yellow a red) and possibly some other factors, but i kinda like it so far.
It sorta seems like Salmon yellow might be a sub-type of Orange flesh since they are so similar and might enhance each other? An F1 Orange fleshed might actually be 1 allele for Orange and 1 allele for salmon yellow? haha, i don't know, but it's fun to try and figure it all out.
Well, aren't they pretty. The pink ones I'v had were way more intense pink than the coral red and they had a much wider band of white around the outside. The white part tastes the same as the rest. My original seeds had a mix of commercial kinds but I think what I have saved now are mostly descended from Josehp's and Ferdzy's.
In my garden saving for flavor and production ended up with the side effect of pink and yellow color and small black seeds. Wonder if that means the genes for those things are related somehow or it's just by chance and flavor is unrelated to color?
Post by keen101 (Biolumo / Andrew B.) on Mar 12, 2018 13:51:52 GMT -5
hmm. maybe pink flesh IS different from "Coral Red" then. I don't really know. I kinda thought the "Coral Red" looked pretty pink to me. To my eyes "Coral Red" and Pink are the same.
I always just called the white part the rhind. maybe it has a specific name though. Watermelon rhinds can be quite thick to quite thin in different varieties. The fact that you have one that is sweet i think means you may have hit the genetic lottery as i have never encountered that.
When i first started my proto-landrace (grex) i had one that had very thick rhind. Don't know what variety, i thought it might have been sugar baby, but i could be wrong. I do remember sending seed for it to joseph that year and he sent seed of his to me. We kept swapping a lot of watermelon seed those first couple of years. That sure was a fun project to work on together. I think i sent him seed last year for that yellow long watermelon that kinda looked like his red-fleshed lofthouse charleston grey variety, but instead yellow-fleshed.