Micromorphology and anatomy of fruits and seeds of bitter melon (Momordica charantia L., Cucurbitaceae)

Claudia Giuliani, Corrado Tani, Laura Maleci Bini


The aim of this paper is investigating the micromorphological properties of fruits and seeds in the food and medicinal plant Momordica charantia L. (Cucurbitaceae). A detailed anatomical description on cross-sections of immature fruits and seeds is reported for the first time.

The fruit is characterized by a thin epicarp, a multi-layered mesocarp and by an inconspicuous endocarp. The seed-coat displays a pattern of organization in five tissues. These endomorphic features were compared and discussed with the results of previous investigations on other representatives of the genus Momordica. Since the structure of seed-coat is considered diacritical in the taxonomy of the genus, this report may offer a set of additional character useful for the characterization of the genus.


Momordica charantia; Cucurbitaceae; fruit, seed-coat; light microscope; scanning electron microscope; morpho-anatomy; medicinal plant

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5586/asbp.3490

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