Journal Articles

Stability of fruit quality traits in diverse watermelon cultivars tested in multiple environments

January 05, 2017

Mahendra Dia, Todd C Wehner, Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Richard Hassell, Daniel S Price, George E Boyhan, Stephen M Olson, Stephen R King, Angela R Davis, Gregory E Tolla, Jerome Bernier & Benito Juarez. Stability of fruit quality traits in diverse watermelon cultivars tested in multiple environments (2016). Horticulture Research 3, Article number: 16066.

Author Affiliations

Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609, USA
Mahendra Dia & Todd C Wehner

Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina Research Campus NCSU, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA
Penelope Perkins-Veazie

Clemson University, Coastal Research and Education Center, Charleston, SC 29414, USA
Richard Hassell

Georgia County Extension, SW District, Cordele, GA 31015, USA
Daniel S Price

Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
George E Boyhan

North Florida REC, University of Florida, Quincy, FL 32351-5677, USA
Stephen M Olson

Texas A&M University, Department of Horticulture Science, College Station, TX 77845, USA
Stephen R King

USDA-ARS, Lane, OK 74555, USA
Angela R Davis

Monsanto/Seminis Veg. Seeds, Woodland, CA 95695, USA
Gregory E Tolla & Jerome Bernier

Sakata Seed America, Inc., 1833 Dunlap Pl., Woodland, CA 95776, USA
Benito Juarez


Lycopene is a naturally occurring red carotenoid compound that is found in watermelon. Lycopene has antioxidant properties. Lycopene content, sugar content and hollowheart resistance are subject to significant genotype×environment interaction (G×E), which makes breeding for these fruit quality traits difficult. The objectives of this study were to (i) evaluate the influence of years and locations on lycopene content, sugar content and hollowheart resistance for a set of watermelon genotypes, and (ii) identify genotypes with high stability for lycopene, sugar, and hollowheart resistance. A diverse set of 40 genotypes was tested over 3 years and 8 locations across the southern United States in replicated, multi-harvest trials. Lycopene was tested in a subset of 10 genotypes. Data were analyzed using univariate and multivariate stability statistics (BLUP-GGE biplot) using SASGxE and RGxE programs. There were strong effects of environment as well as G×E interaction on watermelon quality traits. On the basis of stability measures, genotypes were classified as stable or unstable for each quality trait. ‘Crimson Sweet’ is an inbred line with high quality trait performance as well as trait stability. ‘Stone Mountain’, ‘Tom Watson’, ‘Crimson Sweet’ and ‘Minilee’ were among the best genotypes for lycopene content, sugar content and hollowheart resistance. We developed a stability chart based on marketable yield and average ranking generated from different stability measures for yield attributes and quality traits. The chart will assist in choosing parents for improvement of watermelon cultivars. See

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