|SUN, ZHANYONG - The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) - Taiwan|
Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2010
Publication Date: 11/1/2011
Citation: Weng, Y., Sun, Z. 2011. Major Cucurbit Crops. In: Kole, C., editor. Genetics, Genomics and Breeding of Cucurbits. Boca Raton, FL: Science Publishers. p. 1 - 16.
Technical Abstract: Cucurbit is a general term to denote all species within the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes approximately 800 species in 130 genera. Cucurbits are mostly annual, herbaceous, tendril-bearing and frost sensitive vines and are among the economically most important vegetable crops worldwide. Cucurbits are growing primarily in the temperate and tropical regions. Major cucurbit crops include cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), melon (Cucumis melo L.), watermelon [Citrulus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai], and squash or pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L., cucurbita maxima Duch. and Cucurbita moschata Duch.). This chapter will give a brief review of research progress in the past several years in four major cucurbits with focus on the economic and biological importance of major cucurbits, new findings in cucurbit taxonomy, domestication and evolution, as well as germplasm conservation and utilization.