, 215:30 | Cite as

QTLs associated with flesh quality traits in an elite × elite watermelon population

  • Leigh Ann Fall
  • Penelope Perkins-Veazie
  • Guoying Ma
  • Cecilia McGregorEmail author


Consumers prefer watermelon with sweet, red flesh, and the presence of lycopene, citrulline and arginine phytochemicals helpful for human health is an additional bonus. Breeders often select fruit with desirable flesh characteristics based on soluble solids content (Brix) and visual flesh color. Although marker assisted selection (MAS) of flesh traits would advance germplasm selection efficiency, the low heritability of Brix and lycopene content in red fleshed watermelon has hampered marker development. Here we describe the identification of QTLs associated with lycopene content, the amino acids citrulline and arginine, and the content of individual sugar (sucrose, glucose, fructose) in an elite × elite recombinant inbred line (RIL) population. Brix was most highly correlated with total sugars and glucose content, lycopene content was correlated with sucrose content, and citrulline and arginine content showed no correlation. A region on chromosome 5 was associated with sucrose, glucose, and fructose accumulation, while stable arginine content QTLs were identified on chromosomes 2 and 5.


Citrullus lanatus Brix Sugar Fructose Sucrose Glucose Lycopene Citrulline Arginine 



The authors thank Yihua Chen, Kristin Adams, Jessica Norton, and Daniel Powell for their invaluable help during harvest, collection, and preparation of samples.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10681_2019_2356_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 12 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leigh Ann Fall
    • 1
  • Penelope Perkins-Veazie
    • 2
  • Guoying Ma
    • 2
  • Cecilia McGregor
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute for Plant Breeding, Genetics and GenomicsUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of Horticultural Science Plants for Human Health InstituteNorth Carolina State UniversityKannapolisUSA

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