TGIF: Why Do Seedless Watermelon Have Seeds

Last weekend, I decided to stock up on fresh produce. Walmart had some medium Seedless Watermelon on sale. At the time, I had the fridge space to cut up my own Watermelon and store the leftovers. Over the years, I’ve noticed grocers make an effort to remove seeds from Pre-chopped Watermelon. So, I didn’t notice whole Seedless Watermelon have a lot of seeds. Out of curiosity, I decided to look into this. Scishow has a quick informative video about this juicy treat. It is one of my favorite educational resources for random science questions, because it pulls information from credible sources.

Seedless Watermelon Chunks by Patricia Streeter
The Aftermath of the Watermelon I bought on Saturday

How Are Seedless Watermelon Grown

It turns out that Seedless Watermelon are technically hybrids that are unnaturally harvested across the globe. Don’t worry, they aren’t considered Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). Below, Hank Green, host of  Scishow, explains the origin of the first Watermelon and how scientists made it possible for farmers to grow Seedless Watermelon.

Each planting of seedless watermelons actually produces 3 different types of watermelons — the regular seeded watermelons (from pollinator plants), the true seedless melons, and a light-green tetraploid melon that produces a very limited number of seeds, from which next year’s planting can be made

Seedless Watermelons Production,” Texas Agricultural Extension Service

Why Do Seedless Watermelons have Seeds?

Since Seedless Watermelon are tripods. They are grown with three sets of chromosomes. The odd number makes the plants seed sterile. Try as we might, hybridization cannot stop fruit from trying to make fertile seeds. That’s why their seeds look different from regular Watermelons. Although Seedless Watermelon seeds are annoying, you can’t grow more melons with those translucent seeds.

Natural Watermelon and Artificial Watermelon Infographic
Infographic featured in Business Insider from James Kennedy’s Blog

Now, we know how Seedless Watermelon are grown and why they still have seeds. I hope this post inspires you to delve further into seedless fruit hybridization. Have a great weekend and see you next week for Motivational Mondays with Trisha!


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