How does the Citrillus lanatus reproduce?

Angiosperm life cycle, photo used with permission from wiki, URL: it is explained on the Classification page, the Citrullus lanatus is an angiosperm. This means that it produces flowers and fruit. The life cycle of an angiosperm is much different from that of a human. Unlike humans, these organisms go through a process called alteration of generations. This means, that the Citrullus lanatus alternates between a diploid sporophyte generation and a haploid gametophyte generation.  The flowers are the site of sexual reproduction and the male and female flower each partake in this reproductive process. The anther, located on the male flower, contains thousands of diploid microsporocytes. Each one of these microsporocytes goes through meiosis creating haploid microspores. These microspores then enter the gametophyte stage by each going through mitosis to make microgametophytes. These structures are known as pollen. On the female flower, the pistil contains a number of reproductive organs including the stigma, style, ovary, and ovules. There is a diploid megasporocyte on the ovule and it, much like the microsporocytes, goes through meiosis to form 4 haploid megaspores to enter the gametophyte stage. However, only one of these megaspores survives. This megaspore goes through mitosis and produces 7 haploid cells making up the megagametophyte. Another organism that goes through this life cycle, is the American chestnut.    


Female FlowersUsed with permisson on 4/4/12 by Jeff Haase, URL:
Reproduction occurs within the flowers. The watermelon creates separate male and female flowers, and it is monoecious. On female flowers, the female reproductive organs, known as eggs, are developed into seeds when fertilized and are contained within the ovary. Attached to the watermelon ovary, are three stigmas. The female flowers open and wait to be pollinated.

Male Flowers
On male watermelon flowers, the pollen is produced in the anther. In order to reproduce, pollination must occur. In Used with permisson on 4/4/12 by Jeff Haase, URL:, pollination is the process in which an insect moves pollen from the male flower to the sticky stigma of a female flower which fertilizes the eggs. When the pollen fertilizes an egg, it forms a zygote. The zygote will go through a process called meiosis which is sexual reproduction. (Many eukaryotic organisms, including humans go through this process.) In order for the occurrence of a well developed fruit, all three stigmas must be sufficiently covered in pollen. Even though many insects can pollinate the watermelon, their most common pollinator is the honey bee. It is absolutely necessary for bees to be present in order for pollination of the Citrullus lanatus to take place. Not only do they need to be present, but they need to be active as well. Another plant that goes through a similar pollination process is called the common blue violet.

Forming Fruit
Used with permisson on 4/4/12 by Jeff Haase, URL:

Watermelon flowers are only viable for one day. Female flowers open right after sunrise, and most of the pollination takes place in the morning. The soil must be between the temperatures of 20-35 degrees Celsius in order to for seeds to germinate. Within days of being pollinated, the ovary begins forming the very familiar fruit that we call the watermelon.

What other organisms are apart of the life of the watermelon? Find the answer in interactions!