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MICROPROPAGATION TECHNOLOGY FOR TRIPLOID SEEDLESS WATERMELON & F1 HYBRIDS
Tissue culture-based technology facilitating the rapid multiplication of elite varieties, F1 hybrids and seedless types of watermelon from a few seeds.
Triploid watermelon commands high customer preference due to absence of seeds. Non- availability of planting material is a major limitation.
Micropropagation technology facilitates therapid multiplication from limited starting material and also avoids the need for the cumbersome production of seeds every season. Further, it takes care of the issues like low seed yield, high seed cost, poor germination, low viability and weak seedlings. The protocol also suits F1 hybrids and other elite genotypes.
Products and By- products.
Micropropagated plants supplied in portrays or polybags ready for field plating
Possibility of supplying ex-agar plants ready for hardening
Possibility of supplying in vitro stock cultures
Seedless fruits in the case of triploid watermelons
Rapid Multiplication of seedless watermelons without relying on seed production
Potential multiplication upto 1-10 million plants per year
The plants could be made available for commercial supply in portrays or in sachets
Target segment /End User Profile
Tissue culture units
High demand for the seedless watermelon, including high-end consumersHigh value product & better net returns to the growers; Export potentialSeedless watermelon: Novel plant material for tissue culture units
Investment Required: Can be taken up as an additional item to an existing tissue culture unit with the utilization of extra rack space. Potential of growing one million plants or more per year starting with ten seed-derived in vitro stocks
Expected Returns/Profit: Costs about Rs. 2 to raise a micropropagated plant in an existing TC facility. At a sale price of Rs. 10 per plant 1:5 cost-benefit could be expected.
Market potential: Assuming min. 10 Kg yield per plant and a market rate of Rs. 10/ Kg at the farm for seedless fruits, the cost benefit ratio for grower is 1: 10x. Seedless fruits can fetch 50% more market price over seeded fruits.
Note: A seedless watermelon variety in the background of Arka Manik, named ‘Arka Madhura” is available with the vegetable Crops Division, IIHR, Bangalore