The mystery of the origin of watermelon may have been solved

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Watermelons at the Hyderabad fruit market in 2020.

Watermelons at the Hyderabad fruit market in 2020.
picture: NOAH SEELAM/AFP through Getty Images (Getty Images)

Researchers have decided citrine VulgarAccording to a brand new research, it’s typically known as watermelon. Their work makes use of Sudanese melon as the ancestor of the iconic inexperienced striped fruit.

Watermelon is native to Africa, however when, the place and the way the predecessor of watermelon was domesticated and reworked into the fruit we all know at this time has lengthy been a mystery for botanists.

Team analysis, Published In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a follow-up research was carried out on the multi-year analysis work of melon biogeography, Citrobacter. As Susanne Renner, a botanist at the University of Munich, mentioned, “Everyone thinks there are only four wild species, and the sweet watermelon we eat today comes from South Africa.” But in 2015, one of her graduate college students at the time Guillaume Chomicki, Discovered by DNA sequencing Among the totally different specimens all through Africa, the suspicious watermelon ancestor in the south is only a distant relative. Renner mentioned: “From there, one thing leads to another.” Researchers have simply recognized Cordoba melon as the almost definitely genetic origin of trendy watermelons.

Cordoba melon is native to northeastern Africa.

Cordoba melon is native to northeastern Africa.
picture: Yamatake

Chomicki mentioned that tracing the ancestry of watermelon is the outcome of a collection of errors in South Africa. He is now a botanist at the University of Sheffield in the UK.The disciples of taxonomist Carl Linneus picked up and named a brand new watermelon selection close to Cape Town and named it for about 150 years Citrus, An American botanist will discover the identical identify as the watermelon. Chomicki mentioned: “From this moment, the general idea is that the watermelon comes from South Africa.”

Watermelon and its historical predecessor will not be issues which might be simply inflexible, which additional ensures the true origin of the fruit. Seeds are generally fossilized, which may be helpful for detecting historical DNA, however the oldest DNA on this article comes from a 270-year-old watermelon leaf preserved in a herbarium. The staff saved samples of all watermelon varieties and grew them to maturity in greenhouses in Munich, Germany and Ithaca, New York.

These watermelon samples had been then genetically sequenced and in contrast with DNA extracted from the wild Sudan’s fruit, KohlDagua they discovered about 16,000 genetic structural variations between the two crops and mapped these variations to the particular traits of every fruit.They discovered that as a domesticated product, watermelon may turn out to be sweeter, though it may have misplaced its bitter style earlier than domestication, equivalent to Kordofan fruit will not be itT Still very bitter.

staff shut down Thanks to plant varieties from the Cold War interval, Cordoba is a candidateEddes He identified the chance that the Kordofan plant may be the ancestor of the watermelon, WXixi must translate the Russian directions of these botanists. Kordofan melons are smaller than cultivated watermelons and clearly lack the stripes and vibrant crimson inside of their well-known cousins.BIn the Kordofan Mountains in Northeast Africa, this appears to make sense Watermelon Development takes place in the identical space, however the analysis staff additionally identifiedT Watermelons had been domesticated in West Africa after which dropped at the east.

Qiaomic mentioned: “Because of the ancient portraits, before the appearance of Egypt, big and long watermelons had been eaten 4360 years ago,” Qiaomic mentioned, “but these drawings are complete fruits, so we don’t know whether they have been It’s red.” No As material evidence, researchers rely on a combination of genetic research and historical background. The melon seeds sample used by the team came from Darfur, where it used to be Nubia. Renner said the crop could be domesticated in Nubia and then traded into the Nile.

The portrait in the Egyptian tomb depicts an unknown species of melon.

The portrait in the Egyptian tomb depicts an unknown species of melon.
picture: Lisa Manniche

However, the space between Kordofan Melon and modern watermelon is not a black box. Reina said that based on the many changes at the genetic level between 4000 and 6000 years ago, melons are likely to have changed independently of human agriculture. Even today, there is evidence that Kordofan to Watermelon is somewhere in between.Renner said: “In the 1800s, white-fleshed watermelons had been quite common in the United States, however as a consequence of the improvement of the firm’s agriculture and public demand, they have virtually ceased to exist.” Some of them Heirloom watermelon They are nonetheless close by, though you will not discover them on the whole grocery shops.

Once the research team can check out the DNA of ancient melon seeds They are currently working with, They may be able toContinue to take more actions as a result DeformedIncorporate another. The researchers also foundWatermelon has lost several genes related to the disease resistance retained by Kordofan melon. Maybe the older fruits still have some tricks.

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