Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Citron Watermelon Potential to Improve Crop Diversification and Reduce Negative Impacts of Climate Change

Version 1 : Received: 11 January 2021 / Approved: 12 January 2021 / Online: 12 January 2021 (10:19:08 CET)

How to cite: Mandizvo, T.; Odindo, A.O.; Mashilo, J. Citron Watermelon Potential to Improve Crop Diversification and Reduce Negative Impacts of Climate Change. Preprints 2021, 2021010213 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202101.0213.v1). Mandizvo, T.; Odindo, A.O.; Mashilo, J. Citron Watermelon Potential to Improve Crop Diversification and Reduce Negative Impacts of Climate Change. Preprints 2021, 2021010213 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202101.0213.v1).

Abstract

Citron watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. citroides) is an underexploited and under-researched crop species with potential to contribute to crop diversification in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. The species is commonly cultivated in the drier parts of Southern Africa, mainly by smallholder farmers who maintain a wide range of landraces. Understanding the molecular and morpho-physiological basis for drought adaptation of Citron watermelon in these dry environments can aid in screening local germplasm, identification of suitable traits for crop improvement and improving food system resilience among smallholder farmers by adding to crop diversification. This paper reviews literature on drought adaptation of C. lanatus spp. (C3 xerophytes), using the systematic review approach. The review discusses; (i) the potential role of citron watermelon in adding to crop diversification, (ii) alternative food uses and potential by-products that can be processed from citron watermelon and (iii) the role of Sub-Saharan farmers as key actors in conserving citron watermelon germplasm and biodiversity. Finally, the review provides a summary of significant findings and identifies critical knowledge gaps for further research.

Subject Areas

crop diversification; C3 xerophtyes; food security; underutilized crops; drought adaptation strategies

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