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Article|03 Jun 2022|OPEN
Modulating climacteric intensity in melon through QTL stacking
Miguel Santo Domingo1 , Lorena Areco1 , Carlos Mayobre1 , Laura Valverde1 , Ana Montserrat Martín-Hernández1,2 and Marta Pujol1,2 , , Jordi Garcia-Mas,1,2 ,
1Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) CSIC-IRTA-UAB-UB, Edifici CRAG, Campus UAB, Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
2Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agoralimentàries (IRTA), Edifici CRAG, Campus UAB, Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,

Horticulture Research 9,
Article number: uhac131 (2022)
Views: 87

Received: 23 Mar 2022
Accepted: 29 May 2022
Published online: 03 Jun 2022


Fruit ripening is one of the main processes affecting fruit quality and shelf life. In melon there are both climacteric and non-climacteric genotypes, making it a suitable species to study fruit ripening. In the current study, in order to fine tune ripening, we have pyramided three climacteric QTLs in the non-climacteric genotype “Piel de Sapo”: ETHQB3.5ETHQV6.3 and ETHQV8.1. The results showed that the three QTLs interact epistatically, affecting ethylene production and ripening-related traits such as aroma profile. Each individual QTL has a specific role in the ethylene production profile. ETHQB3.5 accelerates the ethylene peak, ETHQV6.3 advances the ethylene production and ETHQV8.1 enhances the effect of the other two QTLs. Regarding aroma, the three QTLs independently activated the production of esters changing the aroma profile of the fruits, with no significant effects in fruit firmness, soluble solid content and fruit size. Understanding the interaction and the effect of different ripening QTLs offers a powerful knowledge for candidate gene identification as well as for melon breeding programs, where fruit ripening is one of the main objectives.