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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVED PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR PASTURES AND RANGELANDS IN THE TEMPERATE SEMIARID REGIONS OF THE WESTERN U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Bitter Gourd: Botany, Horticulture, Breeding

Authors
item Behera, Tusar - INDIAN AG RES INST
item Behera, Snigdha - INDIAN AG RES INST
item Bharathi, L - INDIAN AG RES INST
item John, Joseph - NAT BUR OF PLANT GEN
item Simon, Philipp
item Staub, Jack

Submitted to: Plant Breeding Reviews
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 20, 2009
Publication Date: May 15, 2010
Citation: Behera, T.K., Behera, S., Bharathi, L.K., John, J., Simon, P.W., Staub, J.E. 2010. Bitter Gourd: Botany, Horticulture, Breeding. Plant Breeding Reviews (J. Janick ed.) 37:101-141. Wiley-VCH, Koln, Germany.

Interpretive Summary: Bitter gourd fruits are a good source of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals and have the highest nutritive value among cucurbits. Moreover, the crude protein content (11.4-20.9 g.kg-1) of bitter gourd fruits is higher than that of tomato and cucumber. This book chapter focuses on the collection, taxonomy, maintenance, characterization, and distribution of bitter gourd germplasm. Bitter gourd has been used for centuries in the ancient traditional medicine of India, China, Africa, and Latin America. Bitter gourd extracts possess anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-hepatotoxic, anti-ulcerogenic properties, while also having the ability to lower blood sugar. The chapter has a general introduction, and each section of the chapter possesses an introduction followed by a summary. The first section describes the origin and domestication of bitter gourd, its nutritional uses, and medical properties. Subsequent sections describe the botany, horticulture and breeding of bitter gourd. The section on botany explains the taxonomy, morphology and reproductive biology of the species. Likewise, the horticulture section describes the culture and production of bitter gourd as it relates to climate and soil. The section on germplasm enhancement discusses gene pools (their evaluation and utilization), cross compatible and cross incompatible breeding strategies, and breeding approaches related to biotechnology. This chapter is the most comprehensive treatment of bitter gourd genetics as it relates to the species' improvement and provides the scientific reader (researchers involved with cucurbit genetics) with a clear understanding of the state of the art related to classical and biotechnical strategies for bitter gourd improvement.

Technical Abstract: Bitter gourd fruits are a good source of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals and have the highest nutritive value among cucurbits. Moreover, the crude protein content (11.4-20.9 g.kg-1) of bitter gourd fruits is higher than that of tomato and cucumber. This book chapter focuses on the collection, taxonomy, maintenance, characterization, and distribution of bitter gourd germplasm. Bitter gourd has been used for centuries in the ancient traditional medicine of India, China, Africa, and Latin America. Bitter gourd extracts possess anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-hepatotoxic, anti-ulcerogenic properties, while also having the ability to lower blood sugar. The chapter has a general introduction, and each section of the chapter possesses an introduction followed by a summary. The first section describes the origin and domestication of bitter gourd, its nutritional uses, and medical properties. Subsequent sections describe the botany, horticulture and breeding of bitter gourd. The section on botany explains the taxonomy, morphology and reproductive biology of the species. Likewise, the horticulture section describes the culture and production of bitter gourd as it relates to climate and soil. The section on germplasm enhancement discusses gene pools (their evaluation and utilization), cross compatible and cross incompatible breeding strategies, and breeding approaches related to biotechnology. This chapter is the most comprehensive treatment of bitter gourd genetics as it relates to the species' improvement and provides the scientific reader (researchers involved with cucurbit genetics) with a clear understanding of the state of the art related to classical and biotechnical strategies for bitter gourd improvement.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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