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Review

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

1
Crop Science, School of Agricultural Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 3201, South Africa
2
Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Towoomba Research Station, Private Bag X1615, Bela-Bela 0480, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Domenico Ronga
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2269; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042269
Received: 11 January 2021 / Revised: 6 February 2021 / Accepted: 10 February 2021 / Published: 19 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Approaches to Mainstreaming Underutilized Crops)
Citron watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. citroides (L.H. Bailey) Mansf. ex Greb.) is an underexploited and under-researched crop species with the potential to contribute to crop diversification in Sub-Saharan Africa. The species is cultivated in the drier parts of Southern Africa, mainly by smallholder farmers who maintain a wide range of landrace varieties. Understanding the molecular and morpho-physiological basis for drought adaptation in citron watermelon under these dry environments can aid in the identification of suitable traits for drought-tolerance breeding and improve food system resilience among smallholder farmers, thus adding to crop diversification. This paper reviews the literature on drought adaptation of Citrullus lanatus spp. (C3 xerophytes), using the systematic review approach. The review discusses the potential role of citron watermelon in adding to crop diversification, alternative food uses, and potential by-products that can be processed from the crop, and it analyzes the role of Sub-Saharan African farmers play 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: abiotic stress; C. lanatus var. citroides; drought adaptation; food security; underutilized crops abiotic stress; C. lanatus var. citroides; drought adaptation; food security; underutilized crops
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mandizvo, T.; Odindo, A.O.; Mashilo, J. Citron Watermelon Potential to Improve Crop Diversification and Reduce Negative Impacts of Climate Change. Sustainability 2021, 13, 2269. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042269

AMA Style

Mandizvo T, Odindo AO, Mashilo J. Citron Watermelon Potential to Improve Crop Diversification and Reduce Negative Impacts of Climate Change. Sustainability. 2021; 13(4):2269. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042269

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mandizvo, Takudzwa, Alfred O. Odindo, and Jacob Mashilo. 2021. "Citron Watermelon Potential to Improve Crop Diversification and Reduce Negative Impacts of Climate Change" Sustainability 13, no. 4: 2269. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042269

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