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Location: Plant Introduction Research

Title: Length and Rapid Elongation of Pedicels of the Female Flowers of Cucumis anguria L.

item Widrlechner, Mark
item Reitsma, Kathleen
item Clark, Lucinda
item Kirkbride, Joseph - Joe

Submitted to: Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/14/2009
Publication Date: 5/21/2010
Citation: Widrlechner, M.P., Reitsma, K.R., Clark, L.D., Kirkbride, J.H. 2010. Length and Rapid Elongation of Pedicels of the Female Flowers of Cucumis anguria L. Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report. 31/32:36-40 and back cover.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This report summarizes observations on the length and growth of pedicels of pollinated and unpollinated female flowers of Cucumis anguria var. anguria and C. anguria var. longaculeatus. These observations were conducted on six germplasm accessions of C. anguria conserved by the USDA-ARS North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station in Ames, Iowa. This work was done to clarify differences found in the published literature about pedicel length at anthesis and at fruit maturity and to determine the speed and extent of pedicel elongation. At anthesis, pedicels of 24 female flowers of var. anguria ranged from 22 to 88 mm long (median=60 mm) and pedicels of 48 female flowers of var. longaculeatus ranged from 25 to 69 mm (median=36.5 mm). Pedicels of unpollinated flowers grew very little, but those of pollinated flowers reached an average of 1.7x their initial length after 5.4 days. At fruit maturity, pedicel lengths for pollinated flowers ranged from 44 to 159 mm (median=98.5 mm) for var. anguria and from 32 to 122 mm (median=77 mm) for var. longaculeatus. Pedicel lengths at the time of anthesis were considerably longer than values reported for this species by Kirkbride in his Cucumis monograph. That report served as the basis for new keys to Cucumis species that had recently been published as a result of the description of a new species of Cucumis, C. zambianus. Our study concludes with a modification to the Cucumis key based on these new measurements and a brief commentary about the difficulties in observing and interpreting biological processes and phenomena from herbarium specimens.