Author Topic: tiny seeded melon  (Read 225 times)

Nicholas Locke

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tiny seeded melon
« on: 2018-10-27, 05:06:22 PM »
So I was checking out a new farmers market for a potential new place to sell. I bought a watermelon from a Nepalese guy, got home opened it up and thought it was a seedless. Upon further inspection I found it wasn't seedless, but had miniature seeds, about as many as a average melon would have. The melon was beautiful and sweet and about the size of a sugarbaby. When eating it you cannot tell the is even any seeds in there they are that small.
I remember seeing a tiny seeded melon on 2seeds in a pod website for sale, but assumed the melon itself would be very small so never pursued it. It's called "tiny seeded south American" the pictures on the website look pretty similar to the melon I bought.
These would be great for a "seedless" variety but with seeds that you can select and breed quite easy.
Has anybody had anything to do with this melon?
"Maybe" said the farmer...

rowan

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Re: tiny seeded melon
« Reply #1 on: 2018-10-27, 06:50:41 PM »
I have been growing this w/m for a few years now. I love that you barely know the seeds are there while eating it, they are only the size of passionfruit seeds, but I don't love how hard it is to harvest the seeds on a scale that is worth it for me to sell them in bulk. I am going to be crossing it with some other watermelons this year to try and get smaller seeds in them.
Mine have smaller fruits than sugar baby which I love as their is no waste for one or two people. Mine came from South America also but had no common name attached so I have named it 'Peewee'.
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Andrew Barney

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Re: tiny seeded melon
« Reply #2 on: 2018-10-27, 10:17:05 PM »
Interesting.  The cucurbit watermelon genetics website rowan linked to in the books thread mentions a trait called "tomato seeded". Basically watermelon seeds that are comparable size to tomato seeds but viable. I imagine that is what this trait has.

Or these are just small. I believe besides tomato sized there is small,  medium,  and large. I'd have to recheck.
« Last Edit: 2018-10-27, 10:20:50 PM by Andrew Barney »

Nicholas Locke

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Re: tiny seeded melon
« Reply #3 on: 2018-10-27, 11:01:41 PM »
This is probably a reason Rowan why they arent readily available commercially. and i think it would probably ruin the commercial seedless watermelon Industry. You literally cant tell there even there while eating them! I had the same thoughts on crossing to different varieties to..
Andrew, mine are the size of tomato seeds for sure, a little smaller then the passion fruit size Rowan mentioned.
I'm very excited about this melon!
"Maybe" said the farmer...

Andrew Barney

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Re: tiny seeded melon
« Reply #4 on: 2018-10-27, 11:30:01 PM »

Image from: http://cuke.hort.ncsu.edu/cgc/cgcgenes/wmgenes/gene12wmelon.html

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tomato seed; seeds smaller than short (LLss or llss), almost the size of a tomato seed; ts from tomato seed Sugar Baby mutant; Ts from 'Gn-1'.

Quote
The genes (s) and (l) for short and long seed length (sometimes called small and large seed size) control seed size, with s epistatic to l (Poole et al., 1941). The genotype LL SS gives medium size, ll SS gives long, and LL ss or ll ss gives short seeds. The Ti gene for tiny seed was reported by Tanaka et al. (1995). Tiny seed from 'Sweet Princess' was dominant over medium-size seed and controlled by a single dominant gene. The small seed gene behaved in a manner different from Poole's medium-size seed cultivar, where short was recessive to medium-size seeds. Tanaka et al. (1995) suggested that the Ti gene was different from the s and l genes. Unfortunately, the origin of short- and long-seed genes was not described in Poole's paper. Tomato seed is shorter and narrower than the short seeded genotype, ll ss, with a width x length of 2.6 x 4.2 mm. The trait is controlled by the ts (Zhang, 1996; Zhang et al., 1994a) gene, with genotype LL ss tsts. The interaction of the four genes for seed size (l, s, Ti and ts) needs to be investigated further. However, the original type-lines for the s and l genes are not available.

That's way cool! I think i actually have some small seeds in my landrace, not sure if i have small or tomato size though. I have a wide range of seed traits for sure though.

Nicholas Locke

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Re: tiny seeded melon
« Reply #5 on: 2018-10-28, 02:47:12 AM »
2.6mmx 4.2 is pretty much spot on average size seed from this melon! so I guess its a tomato seeded type.
just wondering what seedling/plant vigor is like?
Rowan can you comment on this?
"Maybe" said the farmer...

Nicholas Locke

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Re: tiny seeded melon
« Reply #6 on: 2018-10-28, 02:54:24 AM »
Rowan, Just looking at your picture closely I noticed it had the small cavities in the flesh where the seed is like normal melons. my melon did not have this. they sat in mostly solid flesh, I did notice a few of the seeds had germinated in the melon. probably a symptom of close contact to the moist flesh. This was only like 2 or 3% , so not a major problem.
"Maybe" said the farmer...

rowan

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Re: tiny seeded melon
« Reply #7 on: 2018-10-28, 12:05:24 PM »
The melon in my pic was over-ripe which is why there were cavities, normally the seeds are in solid flesh. The seeds take longer to germinate  than any of my other w/m and need more heat to germinate. The seedlings are also slower to grow until they get their second true leaf when they grow at normal speed. I haven't had any seed germinating in the melon.
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Dominic J

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Re: tiny seeded melon
« Reply #8 on: 2018-10-28, 05:17:53 PM »
I've read about this, but I wouldn't know where to find them. Plants probably need to be sown much much earlier, too? Any idea how much earlier?

naiku

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Re: tiny seeded melon
« Reply #9 on: 2018-10-29, 05:00:08 PM »
I haven't seen tomato-sized, but I have seen some very small ones (which I haven't tried growing, yet). I personally like to eat the seeds, though. Some of the easiest seeds to eat I've found come from winter watermelons like King Winter (they're small and black—not tiny or super tiny, but small). They don't seem to have any delays in growth. I got a cross between Tom Watson and what I believe was King Winter. It was pretty nice, with the King Winter seed type, a larger melon, round fruit, darker rind, and sweeter flesh than King Winter (but it didn't have the Jolly Rancher flavor that King Winter has—it was closer to Tom Watson's flavor). I'm excited to grow the F2 next year.

One of my hopes is to get the jalapeno-type flavor that some larger watermelon seeds have (e.g. Weeks NC Giant) into the King Winter seed type. I haven't done it, yet.
« Last Edit: 2018-10-29, 05:05:18 PM by naiku »

Andrew Barney

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Re: tiny seeded melon
« Reply #10 on: 2018-10-29, 06:11:14 PM »

One of my hopes is to get the jalapeno-type flavor that some larger watermelon seeds have (e.g. Weeks NC Giant) into the King Winter seed type. I haven't done it, yet.

Interesting. Not meaning to hijack this thread,  but please share more about these varying watermelon seed flavors like jalapeno. Someone else had wanted to select for good edible watermelon seeds comparable like pumpkin seeds,  which I'm all for. In fact I've been seeing some very interesting seeds from my citron hybrid project. A whole rainbow of unusual colors and patterns,  but also some really nice large plump black seeds that might be good for eating.

naiku

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Re: tiny seeded melon
« Reply #11 on: 2018-10-29, 10:49:56 PM »
Oh, well, I was talking about fresh seeds (chewing them up while eating the watermelon flesh). I can't say what flavor they'd have cooked, nor how much meat they had. However, I've noticed a number of watermelons whose seeds have a peppery taste to them. I don't know for sure if it's entirely variety-dependent or if growing conditions play a role. Probably about 10 to 15 percent of the watermelons varieties I've grown have had this taste to their seeds, but for some varieties, it wasn't consistent. The only one that comes to mind with this taste is Weeks NC Giant, and it's had the taste during multiple years in different soils. It has a unique brown or brownish seed color that is hard to describe (and very large seeds), but I've experienced the taste with brown and speckled/mottled brown seeds (such as the seeds that look like those of Mississippi Cobb Gem and Moon and Stars, and most store-bought watermelons—although I don't recall what the seeds of those specific varieties tasted like, and I've only ever tasted it in homegrown watermelons). I don't know if I've ever tasted it in any other color types, but I think I have.
« Last Edit: 2018-10-29, 10:53:41 PM by naiku »

Dominic J

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Re: tiny seeded melon
« Reply #12 on: 2018-10-30, 06:57:44 AM »
Seed-type watermelons exist. I've heard of breeders working on them, for consumable seeds as is done with some pumpkins. Not sure what varieties have the traits, though. Typically, too, I'd reckon one wants less seeds per fruit, not more.

Nicholas Locke

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Re: tiny seeded melon
« Reply #13 on: 2018-10-30, 03:02:33 PM »
Seed-type watermelons exist. I've heard of breeders working on them, for consumable seeds as is done with some pumpkins. Not sure what varieties have the traits, though. Typically, too, I'd reckon one wants less seeds per fruit, not more.
Yes I dont think flesh would be of much concern when breeding for an edible seed. I think Carol Deppe said in one of her books that dual purpose varieties generally arent much chop because they are pretty much mediocre at both purposes they are breed for. I would have two seperate lines of a melon for seed and a melon for flesh.   
"Maybe" said the farmer...

Andrew Barney

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Re: tiny seeded melon
« Reply #14 on: 2018-10-30, 10:16:35 PM »
Yes I dont think flesh would be of much concern when breeding for an edible seed. I think Carol Deppe said in one of her books that dual purpose varieties generally arent much chop because they are pretty much mediocre at both purposes they are breed for. I would have two seperate lines of a melon for seed and a melon for flesh.   

The irony of using Carol Deppe as an example,  as her Goldini Zucchini is just that,  dual purpose.

I'm not necessarily breeding for edible seeds,  but i don't see why both couldn't be accomplished if one wanted.