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Bottlegourd Breeding

Cucurbitaceae. It is a cultivated annual monoecious species with five wild pe­ rennial dioecious species. The wild species arc confined to Africa and Mada­ gascar (Willis, 1966). Bottlegourd is considered to be one of the most ancient crops cultivated by man in the tropics with an archeological evidence of hu­ man utilization at least 15.000 years in the New World and 12,000 years in the old world (Richardson, 1972). Whitaker (1971) was of the view that bottlegourd was indigenous to tropical Africa (south of Equator) and has diffused to the New World by trans-oceanic drift or human transport. Heiser (1980) supporting the view of Whitaker and concluded Africa as place of origin of bottlegourd. Though he further conceded that there lacks a decisive evidence to distinguish between Africa and America as the original home of this species.