African Journal of
Plant Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Plant Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0824
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 797

Full Length Research Paper

Sensitivity of some quantitative and yield characters of ‘Egusi’ melon (Colocynthis citrullus L.) to treatment with microtubule inhibitors

Ebiamadon Andi Brisibe1,2*, Ogbu Udensi1, Valentine O. Ntui1,3, Peggy A. Otu1 and Peter N. Chukwurah1        
1Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, University of Calabar, Calabar, NIGERIA. 2Department of Biological Sciences, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, P.M.B. 71, Yenagoa, NIGERIA. 3Laboratory of Plant Cell Technology, Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University, Matsudo-Shi, Chiba 271-8510, Japan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 21 October 2011
  •  Published: 06 November 2011


A major constraint in the improvement of ‘Egusi’ melon lies in the fact that attempts attransferring desirable genes into the plant from wild relatives are limited by interspecific hybridization barriers. Therefore, antimitotic agents were used as a means of introducing genetic variability for possible incorporation into breeding programmes of the crop. Seeds soaked in water and three different concentrations (0.01, 0.001 and 0.0001 M) of oryzalin and colchicine were planted directly in field plots where data on some quantitative and yield characters were collected. Plants derived from seeds treated with 0.001 and 0.0001 M of both drugs had significantly longer leaves with larger areas, longer internodes and took a fewer number of days to flower with a higher fruit setting percentage than those soaked in 0.01 M and water, respectively. These plants equally produced bigger pod variants that resulted in the production of more seeds, indicating that they were probably polyploids, which was confirmed by flow cytometry. An examination of the plants in subsequent generations indicated that all of these traits were stably integrated and expressed in the mutants, tacitly implying that they were fixed and can be introgressed into traditional varieties through backcrossing for further improvement of ‘Egusi’ melon.


Key words: Antimitotic drugs, colchicine, mutations, oryzalin, pod variants, polyploids.