Screening new melon (Cucumis melo) cultivars from international seed companies for Australian markets
As Australian fruit and vegetable breeding programmes by public research institutions are progressively downsized or curtailed, new cultivars for production horticulture are increasingly being sourced from breeding programmes of overseas companies. Typically, such cultivars are purchased initially on the basis of their description and performance overseas, together with price. However, there is a significant risk that these could fail under Australian conditions and markets: for example, disease resistance claims may not hold up when exposed to different races of the causal organism in Australia; flavour and visual attributes may not suit Australian consumers; some cultivars may not prove as productive as found overseas; and unforeseen genetic weaknesses may become apparent. This paper reports results of irrigated field trials conducted in south-east Queensland over 2 years using melon (Cucumis melo) cultivars sourced from seed companies in Taiwan, Vietnam, China and USA. A preliminary screening trial in year 1 was used to shortlist a smaller number of cultivars for more detailed trials in year 2 to assess their potential productivity for commercial use and their novelty appeal for non-commercial markets.
Loch, D.S., Zorin, C.M. and Skinner, B.R. (2016). Screening new melon (Cucumis melo) cultivars from international seed companies for Australian markets. Acta Hortic. 1127, 437-444
breeding, varietal selection, adaptation, disease resistance