“We are very confident to say this is the closest relative,” said Dr. Chomikki.
Research suggests that Kordofan watermelons and modern watermelons are most likely caused by wild watermelons that have been around for a long time. Farmers will know that this watermelon is sweeter than other varieties and has been bred to be a delicious new variety.
However, researchers do not yet know who took the ancestor of this wild watermelon and made it into something on the tomb wall in Saqqara or placed it on the path to what we eat today, Dr. And his colleagues are planning to sequencing the genome of watermelon seeds found in African archaeological sites to try to pinpoint where and when humans coaxed early watermelons to their edible form. More
Wild relatives of the house plant can be a source of live genes of interest to breeders. New colors, drought tolerance, or new ways to fight blight are among the properties that wild plants can bring to the genes of home-grown cultivars.
Even cultivars close to the source, such as the Kordofan melon, can help. A new study finds that it has a different model of the gene involved in disease resistance than standard watermelons.
It is not yet clear if there is still a wild version of the Kordofan watermelon or its relative growing in Sudan. In the 1800s, a German botanist wrote that there were patches of melon plants, Chomicky said, but the region near Darfur was difficult for researchers to reach due to the severity.
Many wild relative plants are facing extinction worldwide as a result of human disturbance and climate change. When going, they will take advantage of domestic breeding opportunities with them.
Dr. Chomicky has never Chimelon Cordon fans – for the analysis, team members had to rely on samples gathered by others. The story of the sweet taste, the telltale sign that the modern watermelon story may still be second-hand.
“But I still have seeds,” he said, “so I will plant them.”