The Melon Genetic Resources Collection

The melon, Cucumis melo L. (2n=2x=24) is cross-pollinated by insects (primarily bees) and is self-fertile. It is part of the Cucurbitaceae family and the Cucumis genus that includes about fifty species, including, among the cultivated species, the cucumber, Cucumis sativus. Melon can’t interbreed with any other species, even within the genus Cucumis. For a breeder, only the genetic diversity within the species C. melo is usable.
bandeau melons

The Melon collection started in 1960 and currently includes more than 2,300 genotypes of C. melo. These genotypes come from around the world and belong to all cultivated types. They are eaten raw or cooked, sweetened or unsweetened. The collection also includes a hundred genotypes of wild species of C. melo (see below), which are compatible in crossing with cultivated melons. The Melon collection also includes some melon accessions of other species of wild Cucumis, related to melon. Although not compatible for crossing with melon, these accessions are particularly interesting for evolutionary genetic studies.


Accession de melon sauvage

The National Melon collection includes about 100 varieties of melon. It consists of old French varieties (line varieties) and selected lines at INRAE. It also includes spawning varieties, which were sources of important agronomic traits for breeding, such as resistance to diseases and pests.

⇒ You can consult the National Melon Collection online.

The Melon Genetic Resources Network was created in 1997. It currently associates INRAE and 10 private seed companies, ASL, Bayer, Enza Zaden, Gautier Seeds, Nunhems BV (BASF’s vegetable seeds business), Rijk Zwaan, Sakata France, Syngenta, Takii France, VCO (HM Clause). The network aims to multiply, preserve and evaluate genotypes from the melon collection of which INRAE is the depositary.


Diversité des graines de melon

INRAE has also established scientific collections, required for conducting research programs on melon. Populations of recombinant inbred lines have been obtained by crossing distant melon lines. These populations have been mapped using molecular markers and this has allowed the study of many agronomic traits in segregation. A mutagenic melon collection has been obtained by chemical mutagenesis (through EMS) of an INRAE Charentais melon line. This collection, which includes more than 5000 M2 families, is very useful for the functional validation of genes and is also a tool of choice for generating new diversity.

⇒ To find out more about current research programs on the Melon: REDD research team.


Aperçu de la collection melon conservée par l'INRA

Contact Melon collection: Rebecca Stevens

Learning resources

You can freely use these learning and communication tools by mentioning the source (INRAE CRB-Leg). Send us feedback on their use.

  • The melon – monography of Michel Pitrat (12 pages - June 2010)

In this folder

The Melon Genetic Resources Network has been coordinated by CRB-Leg since 1996. It allows materials and the burden of maintenance and phenotyping to be shared between partners.

Modification date: 11 October 2023 | Publication date: 08 April 2016 | By: RS