Author Topic: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids  (Read 298 times)

Andrew Barney

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Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« on: 2018-10-17, 09:40:40 PM »
Okay, so i'm going to share my most current project and the one i am currently most interested in right now. And even though it is still early in the project i feel like i am already having a lot of success with it so far. Bear with me as i try to copy some of the more interesting info and pictures from the other forum.

But basically in a nutshell i started letting citron melons naturally start crossing with my watermelon landrace and at the point i saw that citron melons no longer had red seeds i knew they were either F1 or F2 hybrid seeds with domestic sweet wateremelons. My main objectives for this project are:

1. to breed a genetically superior watermelon that thrives in poor (often clayish nutrient lacking dry) soil here in Northern Colorado, USA.
2. to breed a watermelon that is frost tolerant if possible
3. to possibly start a sub-project of breeding a "winter watermelon" or "storage watermelon" that ripens fully in 3-5 months and reaches it's peak sweetness and color at that stage.
4. to breed cool flesh-seed color combinations and rind combinations not commonly seen in domestic watermelon.

https://keen101.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/new-watermelon-breeding-project-2018-and-beyond/

Oct 29, 2017 at 9:09pm:

Quote
Embarking on a new breeding project. Finally have confirmed crossed seeds from some red-seeded citrons with the landrace watermelons. Had a few red seeds collected from the ones i planted last season. This season the seeds were NOT red. They were all crazy colors and patterns. Some black-red, some pure black, some gray, some mottled brownish, etc. Originally wanted to do this cross because i wanted watermelons with red seeds and watermelons with frost tolerance. The citrons are supposed to be frost tolerant, though not edible. The fruits really are white rock hard flesh with no flavor. But i'm optimistic i can select something cool out of these eventually. I noticed the citrons did very well this year in my climate and soil and even produce nice full size fruits even when crowded by other watermelon plants. I think these are genetics worth folding into my watermelon landrace and/or creating a separate breeding project. Looking forward to seeing what these do.

20170927_175812 by Andrew Barney, on Flickr

20170927_175805 by Andrew Barney, on Flickr
« Last Edit: 2018-10-17, 09:58:17 PM by Andrew Barney »

Andrew Barney

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Re: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« Reply #1 on: 2018-10-17, 10:07:51 PM »
Walt had said there was a really cool book out there that talked about really old experiments the russians did with citron melon x watermelon hybrids and that they did indeed get some watermelons that stored really well into the winter!

https://keen101.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/wide_hybridization_in_plants_tsitsin1.pdf

https://keen101.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/wide_hybridization_in_plants_tsitsin2.pdf

searchit.lib.ksu.edu/primo_library/libweb/action/display.do?tabs=detailsTab&ct=display&fn=search&doc=01KSU_ALMA21167737350002401&indx=2&recIds=01KSU_ALMA21167737350002401&recIdxs=1&elementId=1&renderMode=poppedOut&displayMode=full&frbrVersion=&frbg=&&vl(1347074155UI1)=all_items&dscnt=0&vl(1UIStartWith0)=contains&scp.scps=scope%3A%28ksu_libguides%29%2Cscope%3A%2801KSU_ALMA%29%2Cscope%3A%2801KSU%29%2Cscope%3A%2801KSU_DSPACE%29%2Cprimo_central_multiple_fe&tb=t&vl(312793377UI0)=any&vid=KSUD&mode=Basic&srt=rank&tab=default_tab&dum=true&vl(freeText0)=Wide%20Hybridization&dstmp=1509919632059&gathStatIcon=true



Title: Wide hybridization of plants : (Otdalennaya gibridizatsiya rastenii) Proceedings of the Conference on Wide Hybridization of Plants and Animals; collection of reports
Author: Soveshchanie po otdalennoĬ gibridizat︠s︡ii rasteniĬ i zhivotnykh ((1956 : Moscow, R.S.F.S.R.)
Nikolaĭ Vasilʹevich T︠S︡it︠s︡in 1898-; National Science Foundation (U.S.); Akademii︠a︡ nauk SSSR.; Vsesoi︠u︡znai︠a︡ akademii︠a︡ selʹskokhozi︠a︡ĭstvennykh nauk imeni V.I. Lenina.
Subjects: Plant hybridization
Publisher: Jerusalem, Published for the National Science Foundation, Washington, by the Israel Program for Scientific Translations; available from Office of Technical Services, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Washington
Creation Date: 1962
Format: 364 pages : illustrations, tables. ; 25 cm.
Language: English;Russian

Nicholas Locke

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Re: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« Reply #2 on: 2018-10-18, 05:11:10 PM »
Are the Citron frost tolerant, or just more cold weather adapted then the domestic watermelon?
"Maybe" said the farmer...

Andrew Barney

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Re: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« Reply #3 on: 2018-10-18, 06:19:31 PM »
Are the Citron frost tolerant, or just more cold weather adapted then the domestic watermelon?

Well, i should probably do research into that by reading some scientific papers. When i first started this project i was under the impression that they were full frost tolerant. I am now more leaning toward hardier in general and possibly are more cold hardy than domestic watermelons in the seedling stage and more tolerant to early spring light snow (which is probably less damaging than a late fall frost). That is just my supposition at the moment,  no data to back it up.

But even without any frost or cold tolerance,  i think these things can tolerate and grow in poor soil much more than domestic watermelon and might even have better roots for gathering scarce nutrients along with more drought tolerance. I would be more than happy for those traits alone.
« Last Edit: 2018-10-18, 06:21:53 PM by Andrew Barney »

Andrew Barney

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Re: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« Reply #4 on: 2018-10-18, 07:54:41 PM »
Earlier this year there was a guy over on a tomato forum that was talking about a VERY interesting watermelon variety that i believe to have Citron ancestry!

Quote
This is some of what he had to say so far. I told him i thought it did, but he was not so sure. I haven't heard is latest reply yet, but it has citron ancestry i'm 98% positive it does!

Quote from: Andrey_BY


I don't think there is something about Citron here, but Charleston Grey watermelon was one of cross lines to improve desease tolerance.

They have been growing watermelons for ages in Astrakhan and Volgograd areas of the Russian South. From XII century they have been growing great watermelons keeping seeds from the best big size (20-25 kg) watermelons sending their harvest to the central part of Russia by ships via great river Volga!
Since 1930 there is an old special melon breeding station near Volgograd called Bykovskaya there this variety Kholodok was born in 1990 from a cross of 3 watermelon varieties (Melitopolskiy 143 x Kuzylbay x Charlestone Grey). Its breeder name Klavdiya Sincha is famous over the world. She is a mother of 40 great watermelon varieties during her 60 years of watermelon breeding since 1944.

And there were several delegations from USA there in XX century who were impressed by tasting old Russion varieties and took many seeds back from this place. So I believe many modern foreign OP and hybrid watermelon varieties have Russian ancestry;)
Kholodok has a typical oval shape for mid late Russian watermelons and you can keep it till New Year party (3-5 months). Usual weight is 7-30 kg, no overripe and the taste is improving after 1 month of storage.

I told him about the distinctive rind pattern that i have not seen in any other watermelon other than the citron melons i have grown. It is very distinctive once you get to know it. And the fact that it can store 3-5 months says that it has citron ancestry! And that it was also bred at a later time at the very same Bykov Melon Production Experiment station where these citron-watermelon hybrids were bred in the USSR i find it VERY hard to believe they would have given uo on that research and those breeding lines.

So now i want to find seed for this "Kholodok" watermelon variety!!

Andrew Barney

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Re: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« Reply #5 on: 2018-10-18, 07:58:51 PM »
Quote from: Andrew Barney on Jan 16, 2018
So that guy is going to send me some seed for the Kholodok watermelon! Awesome!


But this got me thinking. Most of the pictures found online for Kholidok show it to be a dark rhrind without those distinctive citron markings. But what if like the citron they become more pronounced and yellow over time as it approaches ripeness. I suspect maybe it does.

Therefore, just like my idea before, i think using yellow rhind watermelons to backcross with citron melons or citron hybrids to be a very clever idea as it would give you an extra set of yellow rhrind ripeness genes. Especially helpful for a watermelon that gets sweeter after a month or more of storage.

Andrew Barney

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Re: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« Reply #6 on: 2018-10-18, 08:05:50 PM »
Okay, now time for pictures and updates on this project so far!

Quote from: Andrew Barney on Aug 25, 2018





Harvested a ripe, although mini citron melon hybrid.  It had domestic watermelon pattern, has the yellow-when-ripe gene,  the vine also turned bright yellow, the inside was yellowish and soft,  but it tasted nasty. Seeds were nice and big and black.

@ethin also reported getting some similar results in his garden.  We will see what else we get. Got a few seeds to continue at least.

Andrew Barney

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Re: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« Reply #7 on: 2018-10-18, 08:22:28 PM »
Quote from: Andrew Barney on Sep 29, 2018
Here are some photos of my watermelon and [citron melon x domestic watermelon] hybrids for this year [2018].

More updates to come soon.

First a photo of a large citron hybrid looking melon i was watching for awhile in the top citron patch. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere this light skinned watermelon grew and got bigger than the one right next to it. It has a light green almost white domestic looking pattern to it. I think some domestic watermelons like Kholodok and others (like maybe navajo red-seeded) were mixed in, so im not sure if the light skin is a domestic watermelon or not yet. Upper Citron patch.



some citron looking rinds. Upper Citron patch.



an unusual domestic pattern. light green with light green faint stripes. Upper Citron patch.


Another light green large one like the first photo. Upper Citron patch.



medium citron-ish pattern. kholodok? Upper Citron patch.



---

In the domestic patch.


A clearly citron melon with distinctive "cloverleaf-ish cauliflower stippling pattern found in citron melons with the distinctive slight yellowing on top. In the domestic patch. Not sure how it got there. Hybrid? Full citron melon?


In the domestic patch.


Either domestic patch or lower citron patch. Can't remember.


In the lower citron hybrid patch. another distinctive light colored rind pattern. curious to see what is inside.




------------------------------




A group photo of the ones i harvested today.


One of the largest ones from today. Second largest after the light rind one.


It was interesting because as expected it seems to be white flesh. But unexpectedly it has pure white seeds. The flesh was somewhat pectiny and hard but much easier to spoon out than a pure citron melon. I'm wondering if in citron time this one is far unripe. I am wondering if the seeds will develop color over time and not stay white.


one of the ones that looked like maybe a kholodok melon. Sort of citron rind pattern, but sort of darker stripes between.




This one when cut open was even more interesting. Still think i should have let it ripen more, and in the world of citron time that makes sense, but not sure how much longer. Another month? The "winter watermelons" like Kholodok are said to increase is sweetness over time and can store for 3-5 months. But i think kholodok is a red flesh watermelon. So not sure what is going on, perhaps the citrons when very ripe have a little bit of yellow flesh, and one got crossed with a yellow fleshed domestic. Seeds also a little inmature, but tending to be small black seeds. a hint of more sweetness than the other one, but still way underipe and/or because it is a citron hybrid.





Andrew Barney

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Re: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« Reply #8 on: 2018-10-18, 08:24:57 PM »
F1s are expected to all have white flesh.  F2s are expected to have mostly white flesh with some yellow and reds segregating out.


Andrew Barney

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Re: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« Reply #9 on: 2018-10-18, 08:33:38 PM »
Quote from: Andrew Barney on Oct 2, 2018
Okay grow report / taste test day two! Interesting results in this one!

Okay first up, the tiny tiny golf ball sized melon. Some sort of domestic looking rind pattern. Greenish flesh and large black seeds.





Next, small citron-ish looking melon. Bright Red Seeds. Probably a full citron? I did add a few new citron seeds to the patch this year. Possible full citron, although the rind pattern is slightly different without the "cauliflower" stippling white stripes, but still identifiable from the yellow-ish stripes and overall look.





Next, Small little green, stripeless watermelon. Odd, but domestic pattern. This one was red inside and tasted sweet, but like a slightly overripe domestic watermelon followed by an odd after taste, almost bitter flavor. If actually bitter that is okay as that can be selected out once a recessive non-bitter melon can be found. Still interesting. Large Black seeds.







Next, The coolest melon so far! A very yellow fleshed watermelon with a domestic rind pattern (actually i think the pattern of the best yellow fleshed from garden last year actually! and a pattern i like). This melon was very watery and had a hint of sweetness but almost no sweetness at all and was overshadowed by just water. A good survival melon. lol. This melon had a hint of that weird after-flavor or bitterness too but it was nowhere near the red watermelon above and was negligible. We ate the whole melon despite these lackings so obviously not that bad. It had an almost lemony flavor. Interesting to say the least. The most interesting trait of this watermelon was that it had NO white part of the rind! I can't remember the name of the white part (pith?). Anyway it was amazing! you could literally eat right to the edge of the peel! Now that is a trait and a line worth investigating again! Small reddish-brown stippled patterned seeds. Cool!











next, little green one. dark domestic rind pattern. white, slight yellow. Firm. Probably under ripe because of late citron ripening genes.





next, little bigger light green melon. domestic pattern. white, slight yellow. Firm. Probably under ripe because of late citron ripening genes.





Next, medium round full citron looking fruit. From the Domestic patch. Has characteristic citron pattern with white stippled cloverleaf or cauliflower pattern with dark green stripes and characteristic yellowish tint starting on top of melon. I think it has the golden rind gene in some form as i think the longer these are kept the more yellow they become as they get more and more ripe. This one had white seeds and VERY firm white flesh. Waiting to see if seeds change color (if they do this one was very under ripe).








Andrew Barney

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Re: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« Reply #10 on: 2018-10-18, 08:36:00 PM »
Quote from: Andrew Barney on Oct 4, 2018
@gilbert,

These are photo enhanced, but look at this citron trait where they start to yellow at the top. I think that is a trait worth breeding for. These i don't think are ripe yet either so I'm waiting longer.







You'll notice that the third one does not have this yellow tint (yet?).

Andrew Barney

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Re: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« Reply #11 on: 2018-10-18, 08:44:37 PM »
Quote from: Andrew Barney on Oct 8, 2018
Okay, Taste Test day three.

First the largest domestic watermelon from the domestic watermelon patch. This one was a perfectly ripe red watermelon (using the "three tendril-method") with excellent flavor and small black seeds. Excellent!








------------------------

Okay, on to the presumed F2 citron hybrids and ([citron x watermelon] x watermelon) back-crosses.

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Bland white flesh with large brown mottled seeds. Citron-ish rind pattern.




---

A few random tiny melons. White flesh with light translucent green to whiteish to light light yellowish. bland. but mature seeds.




---

three small melons. The one on the far left had large black seeds and bland flesh. The one in the middle must have been a pure citron and i did not taste it, but bright red seeds are presumed to be new F1 seeds or some combination back-cross. I now believe that the seeds do not change color the first year even when crossed. The melon on the far right had bright yellow flesh and tasted VERY sweet with good domestic yellow watermelon flavor and then had some of that weird slightly bitter after taste. The weird after taste is a little off putting, but a line worth working with to find a non-bitter recombinant non-the-less.








---

white. bland. citron rind pattern not very apparent, but flesh is more citron-like.








---

Three domestic looking rinds. The one on the far left was flavor-less, but had sugar. Tasted like "sugar-water". No bitter compounds. The other two were some sort of orange or salmon-yellow-ish with the characteristic mealy or "frothy" texture and bad flavor i do not like. These did not have bitter compounds, but taste terrible to me. I threw these seeds away. Those two are genetic dead-ends in my eyes.







Andrew Barney

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Re: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« Reply #12 on: 2018-10-18, 08:57:08 PM »
Quote from: Andrew Barney on Oct 13, 2018
Final Taste Test and cutting open of watermelons for 2018!

First Domestic Watermelon. Probably the best domestic watermelon this year! It was excellent and was of decent size considering.




------------------------------

All remaining Citron Hybrids Grex Swarm. The large domestic looking ones with light green rind pattern and yellowish on top were white fleshed and hard inside with light brown mottled seeds. interesting. I guess you never know what genetics you are going to get. One melon had green Seeds! Green seeds is recessive to all but red and white. It is dominant over red.

















































Andrew Barney

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Re: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« Reply #13 on: 2018-10-18, 09:00:15 PM »
Quote from: ethin on Oct 13, 2018
here's my harvest, didn't do too well, they had heavy weed competition but they did better than the watermelon rows next to them that had the same conditions.

Andrew Barney

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Re: Colorado Red Seeded Citron Melon x Watermelon Hybrids
« Reply #14 on: 2018-10-18, 09:03:38 PM »
Quote from: Andrew Barney on Oct 13, 2018













Just a quick update on the second largest light green rind domestic pattern. It did have firm flesh when i cut into it and it did have a light yellow tint to it. After leaving it like that a day or so and going to harvest seeds it turned slightly more yellow fleshed and became somewhat soft and even edible, with a light hint of sugar. Not great, but not terrible. This might actually be the right combination of genetics for a storage watermelon or a Winter Watermelon. Perhaps it would have tasted perfect in 3-5 months of storage. That would be an interesting project goal to select for.