University of California

Earliness in F1 hybrid muskmelons and their parent varieties


Guy Weston Bohn
Glen N. Davis

Authors Affiliations

Guy Weston Bohn was Pathologist, United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, Horticulture Crops Research Branch, La Jolla, California; Glen N. Davis was Professor, University of California, Department of Vegetable Crops, Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 26(9):453-471. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v26n09p453. March 1957.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


The present report is a study of earliness of certain F1 hybrid muskmelons and their parent varieties as measured by the time from planting to first pistillate flower and to first ripe fruit. The plants were studied in randomized blocks in different environments provided by different planting dates, locations, and cultural methods. The data were converted into logarithms and analyzed by the analysis of variance.

The environmental effects encountered were greater than the genetic effects in determining the length of life cycle of the muskmelons in the different plantings. The plants grew faster in summer than in winter and early spring.

Most of the nine parent varieties and eleven variety hybrids performed similarly in all of the five plantings. The parent varieties could be grouped into five significantly different earliness classes on the basis of the average lengths of their total growth periods in all five plantings. Some varieties, such as the Conomon, performed similarly in both growth periods. Others, like the PMR No.5, were early flowering and slow ripening; or, like the Kelly Sweet, were late flowering and fast ripening. The Melogold variety was more variable in different environments than were the other varieties.

Five of the F1 variety hybrids were like the averages of their respective parents in length of period from planting to first ripe fruit. Three were significantly earlier than the averages of their respective parents; one was significantly later. Only two of the hybrids were significantly earlier than their respective early parents in total growth period. The F1 hybrids exhibited responses that ranged from no dominance to apparent heterosis for early flowering, slow ripening, and short total growth. Partitioning the total growth period demonstrated that a hybrid could exhibit apparent heterosis for early maturity without exhibiting heterosis for either early flowering or early ripening. Such apparent heterosis probably resulted from dominance interactions rather than from heterozygosity per se.

Literature Cited

Bailey L. H. Manual of cultivated plants. 1949. New York: The Macmillan Company. 851p.

Bohn G. W., Whitaker Thomas W. A gene for male sterility in the muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.). Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. Proc. 1949. 53:309-14.

Davis G. N., Whitaker Thomas W., Bohn G. W. Production of muskmelons in California. California Agr. Expt. Sta. Cir. 1953. 429:1-39.

Dickson B. C. Aphid flights in relation to cantaloupe mosaic. Plant Disease Rptr. Suppl. 1949. 180:7-8.

Hall W. C. Nitrogen nutrition in the growth and development of the gherkin, Cucumis anguria. Plant Physiology. 1949. 24:753-69. DOI: 10.1104/pp.24.4.753 [CrossRef]

Hoadley T. C. New muskmelon meets mildew hazard. Western Grower and Shipper. 1947. 18(10):14 37.

Lyon C. B. Inheritance of stages of earliness in an interspecific cross between Lycopersicon esculetum and L. pimpinellifolium. Jour. Agr. Res. 1941. 63:175-82.

Mann L. K., Robinson Jeanette. Fertilization, seed development, and fruit growth as related to fruit set in the cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L.). Amer. Jour. Bot. 1950. 37:685-97. DOI: 10.2307/2438036 [CrossRef]

Munger H. M. The possible utilization of first-generation muskmelon hybrids and an improved method of hybridization. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. Proc. 1942. 40:405-10.

Nitsch J. P., Kurtz E. B. Jr., Liverman J. L., Went F. W. The development of sex expression in cucurbit flowers. Amer. Jour. Bot. 1952. 39:32-43. DOI: 10.2307/2438091 [CrossRef]

Paterson D. D. Statistical technique in agricultural research. 1939. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Incorporated. 263p. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-193910000-00021 [CrossRef]

Powers Leroy. An expansion of Jones’s theory for the explanation of heterosis. Amer. Nat. 1944. 78:275-80. DOI: 10.1086/281199 [CrossRef]

Powers Leroy, Locke L. F. Partitioning method of genetic analysis applied to quantitative characters of tomato crosses. U. S. Dept. Agr. Tech. Bul. 1950. 998:1-56.

Powers Leroy, Lyon C. B. Inheritance studies on duration of developmental stages in crosses within the genus Lycopersicon. Jour. Agr. Res. 1941. 63:129-48.

Rosa J. T. The inheritance of flower type in Cucumis and Citrullus. Hilgardia. 1928. 3(9):233-50. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v26n09p453 [CrossRef]

Scott G. W. Inbreeding studies with Cucumis melo. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. Proc. 1933. 29:485

Tapley W. T., Enzie W. D., Van Eseltine G. P. The vegetables of New York, Vol. 1, Part IV. The cucurbits 1937. pp.1-131.

Wallace Bruce. Inter-population hybrids in Drosophila melanogaster. Evolution. 1955. 9:302-16. DOI: 10.2307/2405651 [CrossRef]

Whitaker T. W., Davis G. N. Cantaloupes 6 and 7. Southern Seedsman. 1946. 9(2):14 54

Bohn G, Davis G. 1957. Earliness in F1 hybrid muskmelons and their parent varieties. Hilgardia 26(9):453-471. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v26n09p453
Webmaster Email: wsuckow@ucanr.edu