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Open AccessArticle

Citrulline and Arginine Content of Taxa of Cucurbitaceae

Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA
Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2019, 5(1), 22;
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
PDF [241 KB, uploaded 4 March 2019]


Watermelon is the most significant, natural plant source of L-citrulline, a non-proteinaceous amino acid that benefits cardiovascular health and increases vasodilation in many tissues of the body. Watermelon is a member of the Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, melon, pumpkin, and cucumber. It is possible that other cucurbits could be good sources of citrulline or of arginine, its direct precursor. Twenty-one cultigens were evaluated in triplicate at two locations in North Carolina to estimate citrulline and arginine amounts and variation due to cultigen, replication, and environment. Cultigens containing the highest amount of citrulline (based on LS means) in g/kg fresh weight were ’Crimson Sweet’ watermelon (2.85), ’Dixielee’ watermelon (2.43), casaba-type melon (0.86), mouse melon (0.64), and horned melon rind (0.45). Additionally, mouse melon, horned melon, and bitter gourd (arils) may be interesting sources of arginine-family amino acids, perhaps because of their large seed and aril content relative to mesocarp. View Full-Text
Keywords: Survey; Cucurbits; Citrullus lanatus; phytonutrients; Cucumis sativus; Cucumis melo; Melothria scabra; Cucumis metuliferus Survey; Cucurbits; Citrullus lanatus; phytonutrients; Cucumis sativus; Cucumis melo; Melothria scabra; Cucumis metuliferus
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Hartman, J.L.; Wehner, T.C.; Ma, G.; Perkins-Veazie, P. Citrulline and Arginine Content of Taxa of Cucurbitaceae. Horticulturae 2019, 5, 22.

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