Parthenocarpic fruit set in triploid watermelon induced by CPPUand 2,4-D applications
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AutorMaroto,J. V.; Miguel,A.; Lopez-Galarza,S.; San Bautista,A.; Pascual,B.; Alagarda,J.; Guardiola,J. L.
The localized application of the synthetic cytokinin CPPU ((2-chloro-4-pyridyl)-N-phenyl urea) to ovaries at flower opening was as effective as free pollination in setting parthenocarpic fruit in the triploid watermelon cultivar ' Reina de Corazones', and increased yield per unit land area by at least 50%, simply due to the lack of requirement for diploid pollen producing plants within the orchard. The application of the synthetic auxin 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid) as a full coverage spray, was also effective in setting fruit; total yield was however 10% smaller than in the CPPU-treated plots, but the cost of application was much less expensive. These applications had no adverse effect on fruit quality, and their effectiveness in commercial watermelon production was evaluated over 4 years. Localized applications of 2,4-D to ovaries were less effective in setting fruit, and increased hollow fruit.