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What is Kalahari watermelon

Wild watermelon: The “Desert Gem”

In response to strong sunlight and water drought, most plants produce reactive oxygen species and eventually die. However, wild watermelon accumulates antistress substances including citrulline, a type of amino acid, enabling it to survive under a harsh desert environment. Furthermore, wild watermelon is an amazing fruit, with superior water retention ability, as shown by its capacity to retain high quantities of water up to 3 years after harvesting.

Wild watermelon is native to the Kalahari Desert.

The vast Kalahari Desert occupies 70% of the land area of Botswana in Southern Africa. It is located in a dry region with annual precipitations of 250-500 mm, and extremely low precipitations during winter months (May to July) that make up only 10% of the total annual precipitations. The daytime temperature in summer can reach 40°C, while winter is cold with air temperatures dropping to as low as 2°C. Wild watermelon, which can withstand this harsh desert environment, supports the ecosystem of the region by supplying both nutrients and water.

Wild watermelon, an attractive material with great potential

History of research on wild watermelon

Various studies on wild watermelon have been conducted in universities and companies for about 20 years since its introduction into Japan. As a result, some of the physiological characteristics of wild watermelon, such as a tremendous growth potential, a high adaptability to severe environmental stresses, and a genome containing various genes enabling wild watermelon to produce substances that confer resistance to environmental stresses, have been clarified. To this day, 14 scientific papers and 6 patents related to wild water melon are in the public domain.

Front line of wild watermelon research

Wild watermelon is a promising nutrient source, with several unknown aspects. Its potential as a functional nutrient source has been the focus of intense research in recent years.

Wild watermelon research reports

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