SUMMARY. Cucumber is a member of Cucurbitaceae comprising 90 genera and 750 species. It is consumed as salad or in pickled form. Cu cumber is a low energy and high water content vegetable and is mainly used as refreshing condiment Considerable heterosis has been mani fested in cucumber for various traits such as number of fruits, early and high yield. However, hybrid seed production requires development of superior lines for production of good quality hybrids. Three major genes Acr/acr, M/m, and A/a besides environmental factors and modifying genes mainly control various sex types. Of the various sex forms, gynoecious and monoecious are important from hybrid production point of view. [Article copies available fo r a fe e from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: l-800-HAWORTH. E-mail address: <[email protected]> Website: <http://www.H aworthPress.com> © 2004 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved. I
KEYW ORDS. Cucumber, heterosis, floral biology, sex expression, maintenance of gynoecious lines, hybrid seed production
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is a member of Cucurbitaceae comprising 90 genera and 750 species. It is consumed as salad or in pickled form. The cu-
cumber is reported to be indigenous to India (dc Candolle, 1886). The chief evidence for this suggestion is the occurrence of Cucumis hardwickii Royle, a cucumber-like plant, in the foot-hills of the Himalayas in India. C. hardwickii is similar to C. sativus except that the exterior of the fruit is smooth and flesh is extremely bitter. Since, C. hardwickii crosses freely with C. sativus (Deakin et al., 1971), this has led to the conclusion that C. hardwickii is either a feral or progenitor form of the cultivated cucumber (de Candolle, 1886).