BREEDING SOME MELON TRAITS BY HONEYCOMB SELECTION 1- VEGETATIVE GROWTH TRAITS

Abstract

A field experiment was conducted in three seasons on the farm of the Dept. of Hort., Coll., of Agric. University of Baghdad during 2005-2006. This was to study the effect of honeycomb selection for breeding vegetative growth traits in 3 melon cultivars (Hafed nafsa, Ismaily and Ananas). Four selection criteria were used; number of days from planting to blooming, number of nodes on the main stem before flowering, number of main branches/plant and sex ratio. The results showed that the number of days from planting to first female flower was reduced by 17%, coincided with reduction of number of nodes per plant before female flower by 40.4%. Main stems per plant were increased by 31% after 2 cycles of selection. This was reflected on plant leaf area to be increased by 30.7%. Selection increased dry matter of selected plants by 161.7 g /plant. Selection increased growth rate by 2.8 g.d"1.plant"1. This growth rate has reduced number of days from planting to physiological maturation by 7.6 d. High Heritability in four selection criteria gave an indicator for effective honeycomb selection to improve yield and it's quality because of the positive correlation between these criteria and quantity and quality of fruits of melo