Author Topic: Melothria pendula breeding  (Read 96 times)

Josh Nesbitt

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Melothria pendula breeding
« on: 2020-11-07, 08:42:30 PM »
I started growing Melothria pendula 2 years ago from seeds that I had gotten through Experimental Farm Network from a wild population found in Delaware. The first year I grew them I did nothing, just let them grow. This growing season I started selecting fruits based on their size. The fruits I've selected were all at least 11/16th of an inch, which might not seem that big, but compared to the others. I'd say most fruits were around 1/2 inches. I want to clarify that this is length as I didn't have anything to measure circumference, but as you'll see the fruits I've selected are substantially bigger in all aspects.

Out of hundreds of fruits I've selected 13 which I've labeled A through M, as well as, 2 fruits that had what I called a pear or gourd shape. Most of these gourd shaped fruits shriveled early on and where aborted from the vines. These 2 made it to maturity and I've separated this seed lot from the others.

Next season I plan on growing out all 13 individual lots as well as the pear shaped ones on their own trellises so I can evaluate them. Along side these I plan to grow an open pollinated seed lot from this year and some of the original seed stock in order to retain genetic diversity in the lines.

As far as selection goes for next season I plan to continue with selecting for larger fruits, but I'm wondering if I should also start to select for taste? these were sour to bitter and If I can get them a little sweeter instead of bitter I think they would be wonderful. I enjoy sour things though and don't really mind that. These are in an edible stage for weeks it seems before they start turning black, and in fact I still have some on vines right now that could probably be eaten.

Josh Nesbitt

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Re: Melothria pendula breeding
« Reply #1 on: 2020-11-12, 10:21:58 AM »
I've pulled up some roots from some of these Melothria. Stolons are edible, although I haven't tried any yet. Shoots will emerge from the stolon the following year. These have a lot of potential as a root crop as well as a fruit crop