Seedless watermelon genetics

Seedless watermelon genetics

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Credit: Martin Shields/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Seedless watermelon plants are grown from seeds. Two different strains of the plant - one diploid and one tetraploid- are crossed. The offspring triploid plants are sterile so meiosis can not occur and no mature seeds are produced. But in order for the triploid plant to produce fruit it must be pollinated by a normal diploid plant. The seeds in the foreground are triploid (the red ones) and the diploid pollinator (blue). The seeds are colour coated so the farmer will be sure to plant rows of pollinators between rows of triploid plants. The two must be grown near each other so that pollination will occur and the triploid plant will produce seedless fruit like the one shown.

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