Can you eat watermelon with bacterial rind necrosis?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Can you eat watermelon with bacterial rind necrosis?” and the information on the identification of this bacterial rind.

Can you eat watermelon with bacterial rind necrosis?

Yes, you can eat watermelon with bacterial rind necrosis. The most well-known part of the watermelon is its pink flesh, but just like its close relative the cucumber, the watermelon may be consumed from top to bottom. The rind, often known as the green skin that protects all of that water-logged and delicious fruit, can be consumed in its whole.

What exactly is watermelon rind necrosis, though?

The condition known as watermelon bacterial rind necrosis causes areas of discoloration to appear on the rind of the melon. The first symptoms of watermelon rind necrosis are areas of the rind that have become hard and discolored. Over time, they spread out and produce large areas of the rind that are composed entirely of dead cells. These parts of the melon are only occasionally in contact with the flesh of the fruit.

The Necrosis of the Watermelon Rind: What Causes It?

Necrosis of the rind of a watermelon is believed to be caused by bacteria, as stated by many specialists. They believe that the bacteria is present in watermelon in its natural state. The bacteria is thought to be the cause of the onset of symptoms for reasons that are not fully understood. Plant pathologists have discovered a variety of bacteria in the necrotic areas of the rind. The name “bacterial rind necrosis” comes from the fact that bacteria are the cause of the illness. However, no particular bacteria has been isolated as the cause of the problems that have been seen. Scientists now believe that typical watermelon microbes can be affected by stressful environmental conditions. 

They believe that this results in the rind of the apple becoming overly sensitive. At that same moment, bacteria living there perish, which results in the death of cells in the surrounding area. However, there have been no experiments carried out to confirm this theory. They came across some evidence that points to the possibility of water stress being involved. The necrosis does not cause watermelon rind necrosis symptoms on the outside of the melons; therefore, the problem is predominantly identified by consumers or home gardeners. When they cut into the watermelon, that’s when they find out about the sickness.


Typical symptoms of rind necrosis include a light brown discoloration that is dry and rigid, with lighter patches interleaved throughout. These patches get larger and may eventually combine with neighboring necrotic areas to generate massive necrotic zones. The disease begins in the rind of infected field melons and only very rarely makes its way into the flesh of the fruit. 

The affected area is occasionally confined to the vascular bundles, but in the vast majority of instances, the discoloration covers the entirety of the rind. Although the causes of the appearance of symptoms are unknown, it is believed that the sickness is caused by bacteria that are naturally present in the fruit. The disease only manifests itself seldom.

At this point, the reason for rind necrosis is unknown. Despite numerous investigations, it was not possible to identify the factor(s) responsible for the phenomenon. Research has pointed to a bacterial infection as the root of the problem, and a specific species of Erwinia has been pinpointed as the offender.

In other investigations, the variety of bacterial flora acquired from healthy and diseased fruit was shown to be comparable, except for the fact that enterobacteria were discovered more frequently from diseased fruit than they were from healthy fruit. After injecting Erwinia, Pseudomonas, Enterobacter, and Bacillus into the rind, necrosis ensued at the injection sites. There is a connection between the stress of drought and rind necrosis in melons.

The bacterial rind can be prevented with treatment.

The disease has been documented in the states of Florida, Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina, in addition to Hawaii. It is not a huge annual issue and only happens sometimes; it has not developed into one.

Because it is hard to determine which fruits are contaminated with watermelon bacterial rind necrosis before cutting into them, the crop cannot be culled and must be consumed. Even if there are only a few diseased melons, the entire harvest could have to be recalled. There are now no safeguards in place, which is disappointing.

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In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “Can you eat watermelon with bacterial rind necrosis?” and the information on the identification of this bacterial rind.