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Texas AgriLife Research scientists making better melons
Date:9/20/2011

C and beta-carotene, which is a carotenoid found in fruits and vegetables that provides much of the vitamin A recommended for the typical American diet. Beta-carotene is also used in a number of medical applications, including the treatment of exercise-induced asthma symptoms, heart disease and age-related macular degeneration.

"Typically, the only melons on the market in early May have been the ones from the Rio Grande Valley," Crosby said. "But there's a Dutch melon being grown in Central America and shipped to the U.S. that will challenge that early availability. So it's important that Texas growers are aware of what's going on so they can also compete in the global marketplace. We're trying to help Texas producers grow melons that have not only the visual and taste characteristics consumers want, but also have higher yields and are durable enough to ship longer distances."

Crosby said other traits they are trying to identify or develop in melons are a high fruit set and the ability for multiple plantings so producers can make the best use of their labor force as melons are typically harvested by hand.

"We're hoping the results of the work we're doing at the Uvalde and Weslaco centers and elsewhere will enable us to expand and implement melon production of both traditional and the newer specialty melon varieties through South and South Central Texas, as well as West Texas," Leskovar said. "These efforts should allow us to help the producer eliminate some of the risks that come with other traditional crops being grown in those areas."


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Contact: Dr. Daniel Leskovar
d-leskovar@tamu.edu
830-278-9151
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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