Obscure Turkish melons:

 melon types are common as
‘Kirkagaç’, ‘Hasanbey’, ‘Yuva’, ‘Gonen’, ‘Hırsızcalmaz’, ‘Topatan’, ‘Acur kavunu’,
‘Kışlık kavun’, ‘Çumra’, ‘Melemen’, ‘Lambada’, ‘Suluklu’, ‘Siyah kavun’. In
southeastern Anatolia region, large sized melons (4-20 kg), late and with small
quantity of sugar are predominant. Common types are ‘Midyat kavunu’, ‘Dilimli
kavun’, ‘Asma kavunu’, ‘Acı kavun’, ‘Kelek kavun’, ‘Tilmen kavunu’, ‘Harnubi’ etc.
Characterizations were conducted in different research activities (Gomez-Guillamon
et al. 2004; Solmaz and Sari 2007; Sensoy et al. 2007). Currently the collection of
Eastern Anatolia and Middle Anatolia region, is being characterized morphologically,
with molecular markers (SSR) and for their resistance to diseases, characterized
thanks to a multidisciplinary research program supported by TUBITAK-TURKEY
Breeding of hybrid varieties started in Western Mediterranean Agricultural
Research Institute (Antalya). Later, in the framework of the projects between
Çukurova University and Ministry of Agriculture, we created new Fı hybrids resistant
to Fusarium wilt via haplo-diploidisation method obtained through irradiated pollen
techniques in ‘Galia’ type (C. melo var. reticulatus) (Sari et al. 1999). Currently,
research is ongoing to develop new ‘Kirkagac’, ‘Yuva’ and ‘Hasanbey’ melons (C.
melo var. inodorus) resistant to Fusarium wilt via haploid method (Sari et al. 2007a).

Turkey is the second most important watermelon producer country with 3.8
million tons on 137,000 ha area after China (FAOSTAT, 2006). Although Turkey is
not the center of origin for watermelon it has valuable and extensive watermelon
genetic resources because of its long cultivation history and the location of the
country acting as a bridge between Asia and Europe.
Watermelon genetic resources collections at the Çukurova University were
initiated in 1993. Most regions in Turkey which have watermelon genetic resources
were visited and the accessions collected were characterized morphologically and

supported by TUBITAK during 2004-2008. A great
collection was constructed by adding reference materials and different genotypes of
related species provided from different gene banks. Çukurova University watermelon
germplasm has 355 accessions belonging especially to C. lanatus var. lanatus, C.
lanatus var. citroides, C. colocynthis, C. ecirrhosus, C. rehmii and P. fistulosus.
Turkey has only C. lanatus var. lanatus in its natural area with different types, colors
and fruit size. The wild types are not found in nature. The richest regions of Turkey
are the Southeastern, Aegean, Thrace and Middle Anatolia region (Sari et al. 2007b).
But, the introduction of new, good quality watermelon hybrids, decreases the number
of genetic resources in all regions year by year. The most common Turkish
watermelon local varieties are: ‘Diyarbakır karpuzu’ (40-50 kg/fruit), ‘Tat karpuzu’,
‘Sürme’, ‘Beyaz Kış’, ‘Siyah Kış’, ‘Halep Karasi’, ‘Cakal’, ‘Medine’, ‘Amerikan’,
‘Yerli’, ‘Gelin’, ‘Komando’, ‘Ankara’, ‘Kore’, ‘Akkarpuz’, ‘Karakarpuz’, ‘Cerezlik
karpuz’ etc. The Turkish watermelon accessions have generally big seeds which are
still consumed fresh, dry or boiled in some regions. Our researches indicate that the
distribution of seed weight in a sample of 327 Turkish watermelon is as follows:
8.0 % of genotypes have seed weight lower than 50 mg, 18.4 % of genotypes between
51 mg and 100 mg, 48.9 % of genotypes between 101 mg and 150 mg, 23.2 % of
genotypes between 151 mg and 200 mg and 1.5 % of genotypes had seeds heavier
than 200 mg (Sari et al. 2008).


Melons by genus


[edit] Benincasa

  • Winter melon[8] (B. hispida) is the only member of the genus Benincasa. The mature winter melon is a culinary vegetable, widely used in Asia and India. The immature melons are used as a culinary fruit, for example to make a distinctive fruit drink.

[edit] Citrullus

  • Egusi (C. lanatus) is a wild melon, identical in appearance to the watermelon. The flesh is inedible, but the seeds are a valuable food source in Africa.[9] Other species that have the same culinary role, and that are also called egusi include Cucumeropsis mannii and Lagenaria sicerari.[10]
  • Watermelon (C. lanatus) originated in Africa, where evidence indicates that it has been cultivated for over 4,000 years.[11] It is a popular summer fruit in all parts of the world.[12]

[edit] Cucumis

Melons in genus Cucumis are culinary fruits, and include the majority of culinary melons.

  • Horned melon (C. metuliferus), a traditional food plant in Africa with distinctive spikes. Now grown in California, Chile, Australia and New Zealand as well.
  • Muskmelon (C. melo)
    • C. melo cantalupensis, with skin that is rough and warty, not netted.
    • C. melo inodorus, or winter melons
    • C. melo reticulatus, true muskmelons, with netted (reticulated) skin.
      • North American cantaloupe, distinct from the European cantaloupe, with the net-like skin pattern common to other C. melo reticulatus varieties.[20]
      • Galia, small and very juicy with either faint green or rosy pink flesh.[14]
      • Sharlyn melons, with taste between honeydew and cantaloupes, netted skin, greenish-orange rind, and white flesh.[21]
    • Modern crossbred varieties, e.g. Crenshaw (Casaba × Persian), Crane (Japanese × N.A. cantaloupe).

[edit] Momordica

  • The bitter melon (M. charantia) is the only melon that is a member of the genus Momordica. It is a culinary vegetable, widely used in Asian, Indian and Caribbean cuisines. The flesh of the bitter melon has a characteristic bitter flavor. In contrast, the red, gelatinous coating of the mature seeds is sweet, and is used in some Asian cuisines as a sweetener. Bitter melon has an unusually large number of common names in various regions.