Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324602

Title: Gourds: Bitter, Bottle, Wax, Snake, Sponge and Ridge

item DHILLON, NARINDER - The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) - Taiwan
item SANGUANSIL, SUPANNIKA - The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) - Taiwan
item SINGH, SHEO - Narendra Deva University Of Agriculture & Technology
item MASUD, M. - Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute
item KUMAR, PRASHANT - Rasi Seeds
item BHARATHI, L. - Indian Institute Of Horticultural Research
item YETISIR, HALIT - Erciyes University
item HUANG, RUKUI - Guangxi Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item CAHN, DOAN - Field Crops Research Institute
item McCreight, James - Jim

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/19/2016
Publication Date: 3/5/2017
Citation: Dhillon, N.P., Sanguansil, S., Singh, S.P., Masud, M.A., Kumar, P., Bharathi, L.K., Yetisir, H., Huang, R., Cahn, D.X., McCreight, J.D. 2017. Gourds: Bitter, Bottle, Wax, Snake, Sponge and Ridge. In: Grumet, R., Katzir, N., Garcia-Mas, J., editors. Genetics and Genomics of the Cucurbitaceae. New York, NY: Springer. p. 1–18.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Minor cucurbits include bitter gourd, bottle gourd, wax gourd, snake gourd, and sponge and ridge gourd, which are significant dietary sources of nutrients such as vitamin A and C, iron and calcium. These cucurbits are cultivated and marketed by smallholder farmers and remain important components of home gardens in Asia. Public sector breeders and germplasm curators release open-pollinated varieties and cultivars of these minor cucurbits developed through selection from landraces. Private sector breeders develop F1 hybrid cultivars of these minor cucurbits that are popular with the growers because of their uniformity, early and total marketable yield, and, in some cases, disease resistance. Widespread adoption of F1 hybrid cultivars is leading to reduced genetic variability and increased risk of loss to disease and insect outbreaks. We review of the status of germplasm resources of these eight minor cucurbits that are important for sustained genetic improvement of these cucurbit species. Susceptibility to viruses is currently the major production constraint of these minor cucurbits; additional collection and systematic evaluation of germplasm against these viruses is necessary to stem crop losses, as exemplified by the recent development of virus-resistant ridge gourd lines and F1 hybrids. Collection of additional germplasm of these minor cucurbits from various regions of the tropics, and their timely conservation, comprehensive evaluation, and characterization will provide valuable genetic resources for their continued genetic improvement and protection against emerging biotic (diseases and insects) and abiotic (e.g., temperature) stresses in order to help ensure their sustainable production.