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Agronomic and quality evaluation of Spanish melon landraces grown under organic farming in Extremadura

Gragera-Facundo, J., Gil-Torralvo, C.G., Gutierrez-Perera, J.M., Cano-Suarez, J.M., Avila-Lozano, C., Esteban-Perdigon, A.
Acta horticulturae 2012 no.933 pp. 61-67
cucumbers, cultivars, disease resistance, farms, fruit yield, landraces, mildews, organic production, pH, quality control, sensory properties
In 2009, twenty cultivars of sweet melon, var. inodorus, were grown in “La Orden” farm (Guadajira, Badajoz) using organic production techniques. Nineteen of them were Spanish landraces and the other one, as a control, was a commercial hybrid cultivar named ‘Seda’. Some agronomic (level of cucumber mildew disease resistance, commercial yield and fruit weight) and quality (°Brix, pH and sensory quality) characters were evaluated. For the level of cucumber mildew disease resistance, there were six sensible cultivars, four tolerant, eight (control included) resistant and three segregant. Commercial yield ranged from 20 to 73 t ha-1, with fifteen landraces overcoming the control. Fruit weight ranged between 1.04 and 2.79 kg per fruit. Some of the traditional cultivars showed high °Brix and very good sensory quality as the control did. There were positive correlations between the level of cucumber mildew disease resistance and the characters fruit weight, °Brix, pH and sensory quality, between yield and fruit weight, between fruit weight and the characters °Brix and pH, and between °Brix and the characters pH and sensory quality. According to agronomic and quality results, the best cultivars were ‘BGV-010039’, ‘BGV-010046’, ‘Cm-15’ and ‘MU-C-47’. These cultivars could be recom-mended for commercial growing under organic production system if they confirm their good performance.