Author Topic: Cucumis melo - hybrids / Breeding projects  (Read 1146 times)

Garrett Schantz

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Cucumis melo - hybrids / Breeding projects
« on: 2021-09-22, 08:28:15 PM »
Figured that I may as well make a post for Muskmelons - Cantaloupe, anything in this species. Most of these are old seed, Dakota Sisters Melon is the newest variety that I bought.

Melons that I have:

Sakata's Sweet

Xylangouro

Armenian Cucumber

Hithadhoo Maldives

Apple melon

Oriental Pickling Melon

Mother Mary's Pie

Kiku Chyrsanthemum

Amish Melon

Crack Melon (Some sort of feral type that HRseeds has on their property)

Thai Golden Round

Tigger Melon

Collective Farm Women ​

Christmas / Santa Claus Melon

Crenshaw

Dakota Sisters Melon

Also a few "wild" melons from various countries in Asia. Seeds are almost that same size as most tomato seeds - melons are probably very small and bitter or tasteless.



Planning on screening out for disease resistances - powdery mildew resistance should be easy to screen for. Powdery mildew is probably one of the largest problems for melons in my garden.

Some melons also have nice fragrances to them - this could be nice if the melons still taste good.

C. melo varieties have various uses. Some are purposely bitter, used medicinally - some have odd textures and are used for cooking or jams. A lot of Asian varieties have edible or peelable skins.

A golf ball sized melon with edible skin could be quite interesting - seed size would probably need to be small in order to prevent texture issues. Insects boring into the fruit would be troublesome.

I'm usually not a fan of melons, the older muskmelons have different tastes - which I seem to like.

A lot of C. melo breeding in the U.S. seems to use named varieties rather than truly wild types - probably due to the large amounts of diversity within varieties.


Taking a break from squash for a while in order to focus on C. melo. Might still do a few bush zucchini or something.


Probably going to be growing the "wild" and bitter types outside of the garden. They should still thrive, reduces the chances of cross pollination with the more edible types.

I also don't grow large fields of melons - I could probably get away with crossing plants manually / marking them off. This would also prevent me from sending bitter melons to people and ruining their populations.

The wild types will be carefully watched, these are the types that have been documented escaping researchers in Europe - other countries and becoming invasive. Bitter tasting invasive melons sound rather dreadful.


This might be my second favorite Cucurbitaceae species. Or first.

Garrett Schantz

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Re: Cucumis melo - hybrids / Breeding projects
« Reply #1 on: 2021-09-22, 08:38:45 PM »
Some seed sizes of various melons.

Top left is one of the wild accessions - seed sizes all appear to be the same for them.

Top right is a Christmas Melon - Most melons have this seed size.

Bottom Left is a Apple Melon - Small seeds

Bottom Right is a Oriental Pickling Melon - Somewhat larger than the Apple Melon's seeds.

Garrett Schantz

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Re: Cucumis melo - hybrids / Breeding projects
« Reply #2 on: 2021-09-22, 09:30:05 PM »
Adding an interesting PDF which shows some interspecific hybridization attempts.

C. metuliferus x C. melo has apparently resulted in Fertile F1s in the past - some didn't make it past the embryo stage. This of course requires chemicals / probably embryo rescue - protoplast fusion.

The PDF also mentions that something like C. hystrix x C. sativus could act as a bridge between interspecific C. melo hybrids.

C. anguria is also in the same genus, hybrids could be attempted with as well.


https://www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/60800500/CGC/CGC%2012%20(1989).pdf

This PDF mentions some methods of performing the Protoplast fusions.

Also mentions species disease resistant levels to certain diseases - somewhat dated. C. melo types that are able to germinate at lower temperatures were mentioned as well. Quite a nice resource.


https://academic.oup.com/g3journal/article/11/1/jkaa038/6044141

Another resource, mentions some hybridization barriers, possible ancestors who donated genes to  certain C. melo groups.


If I do attempt any hybrids, it won't be for a long time, most likely.

gmuller

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Re: Cucumis melo - hybrids / Breeding projects
« Reply #3 on: 2021-09-23, 04:30:35 PM »
What is your objective with the wild species?
just out of interest, this article
Cucumis (Cucurbitaceae) in Australia and Eastern Malesia, Including Newly Recognized Species and the Sister Species to C. melo
January 2010Systematic Botany 36(2):376-389
DOI: 10.2307/23029013
GM

Garrett Schantz

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Re: Cucumis melo - hybrids / Breeding projects
« Reply #4 on: 2021-09-23, 05:16:08 PM »
What is your objective with the wild species?
just out of interest, this article
Cucumis (Cucurbitaceae) in Australia and Eastern Malesia, Including Newly Recognized Species and the Sister Species to C. melo
January 2010Systematic Botany 36(2):376-389
DOI: 10.2307/23029013
GM

One is to move traits, genes over from wild / uncommon melons into more common or semi-commercial types. Some Massafrese types from Italy have long hairs on their fruit for example - could keep bugs away?

Some types have "odd" textures or flavors.

Plum sized melons that are entirely edible would be very nice as well.

Early flowering, early ripening and other unusual traits probably exist as well.

My main goal is to eventually end up with new melon forms / varieties.

Something other than muskmelon / cantaloupe. Also wanting to see if any of them have unusual disease or pest resistances.

Jeremy Weiss

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Re: Cucumis melo - hybrids / Breeding projects
« Reply #5 on: 2021-09-24, 11:16:18 AM »
I think the largest melon seeds I have seen were for Gregor's Giant Cantaloupe that Joe Simcox used to sell in his store. They were almost as big as pumpkin seeds (or at least gourd seeds).

You also might want to look into the Dosaki melons of India. There seems to be a LOT of variability  there with regards to size (I've seen them from cucumber size to football size)  as well as "melon-ness" (Dosakis are usually used more like cucumbers, similar to Armenian or Italy's Carosellos) 

Garrett Schantz

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Re: Cucumis melo - hybrids / Breeding projects
« Reply #6 on: 2021-09-24, 01:49:33 PM »
I may try finding some different dosakai varieties. Already have quite a few melons, they do seem to be quite interesting.

Garrett Schantz

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Re: Cucumis melo - hybrids / Breeding projects
« Reply #7 on: 2021-10-03, 08:47:28 PM »
Found a few sources of different Cucumis species on Etsy - ended up going with U.S. sources only. Rather not contaminate my Cucurbitaceae species with introduced diseases.

"Sambar Cucumber" - A Dosakai type from Andhra Pradesh. (C. melo)

Also bought a Round Jelly Melon from the same source. (C. metuliferus)

Shop of horticulture - an Etsy shop, sells "West Indian Gherkin", the fruits in the image look like a different Cucumis species - or a rarer variant of the species. (C. anguria)

Experimental Farm Network sells an interesting looking West Indian Gherkin as well, appears different from the commonly sold type. I purchased these before, hopefully I still have seed somewhere. (C. anguria)


Strictly Medicinal Seeds sells "C. zambianus". They refer to it as: Horned Cucumber, Jelly Melon, Kiwano. These are the same common names as C. metuliferus - could be a mistake. Probably won't purchase, limiting myself on Cucumis purchases!


Also purchased C. dipsaceus and C. zeyheri from a reliable source a week or so ago. Found a source for C. sacleuxii and C. ficifolius as well.

Pretty much all of these are "African Melons".

C. hystrix is probably my most important purchase. Could be cross compatible with C. melo and C. sativus. Though, most crosses with it end up with male / female sterile F1s. I have acquired quite a few C. melo varieties / accessions, hopefully a cross will work in that direction.


C. hystrix has a chromosome number of 2n = 24. C. melo has the same chromosome number.

C. sativus has a chromosome number 2n = 14. But, C. hystrix is more chemically related to C. sativus.
Chromosome doubling may be required for most of these hybrids.

C. metuliferus and C. anguria also have a chromosome number of 2n = 24. Other African Melons have the same number as well - hopefully crosses between varieties / landraces / species will allow for further crosses.

Garrett Schantz

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Re: Cucumis melo - hybrids / Breeding projects
« Reply #8 on: 2021-10-20, 09:00:49 PM »
Bought from Smithstoneseeds again.

Ordered Borneo Jungle Cucumber.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/947452744/borneo-jungle-cucumber-20-seeds-2021

I am unsure if this is an actual "Cucumber". The outer skin is odd - I have never seen colorations like this in a cucumber.

Possibly a C. melo variety from Borneo.


"This is borneo jungle cucumber. This cucumber is said to have come from a tribe in Borneo. Very nice round size cucumbers. Will get darker yellow once it gets full maturity. Grows very long vines so it needs plenty of room. Does great in humidity but has always been one of the last cucumber plants to die off at the end of the year its pretty hardy. You will get alot of cucumbers for one plant."

Can't pass up a high humidity resistant C. melo or C. sativus either way.  The skin could look quite nice bred into domestic types.

Garrett Schantz

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Re: Cucumis melo - hybrids / Breeding projects
« Reply #9 on: 2021-10-21, 05:17:08 PM »
Customs didn't accept the Fair Dinkum order.

Which means no Cucumis Zeyheri - Cucumis Dipsaceus.

I may be able to find seeds sources elsewhere. Not surprised here, USDA is careful of packages from Australia.


Garrett Schantz

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Re: Cucumis melo - hybrids / Breeding projects
« Reply #11 on: 2021-10-21, 06:41:48 PM »
C. zeyheri is probably the most important species for the African portion of wild Cucumis breeding.

C. dipsaceus seems to have multiple variations which is interesting.

I may wait to buy seeds again, don't want to spend a ton of money.


Diane Whitehead

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Re: Cucumis melo - hybrids / Breeding projects
« Reply #13 on: 2021-10-21, 08:25:00 PM »
I'll need to re-read Amy Goldman's Melons for the Passionate Grower.

I bought a lot of melon seeds after I first read it, but only a couple managed to ripen fruit here - Farthest North and Sweet Granite.

I spent a year in Borneo, but never saw a cucumber that looked like the one you mentioned.  Of course, it is a big island.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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Garrett Schantz

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Re: Cucumis melo - hybrids / Breeding projects
« Reply #14 on: 2021-10-22, 09:01:01 AM »
I'll need to re-read Amy Goldman's Melons for the Passionate Grower.

I bought a lot of melon seeds after I first read it, but only a couple managed to ripen fruit here - Farthest North and Sweet Granite.

I spent a year in Borneo, but never saw a cucumber that looked like the one you mentioned.  Of course, it is a big island.

I asked the seller, the person who gave it to them didn't say much about it - just that it was from "a tribe in borneo". They aren't sure about the species.

I would assume it's a Cucumis melo from the skin colors.

High humidity resistance would probably be expected from a variety originating in Borneo. Unsure if that's where it's actually from, no way for me to find out.

Probably going to end up trying out  Farthest North Mix at some point.