Breeding Squash and Pumpkins
DOI link for Breeding Squash and Pumpkins
Breeding Squash and Pumpkins book
Department of Biological Sciences, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824; e-mail: [email protected]
The genus Cucurbita within the family Cucurbitaceae comprises five domesticated species, three of which, C. pepo L., C. maxima Duchesne, and C. moschata Duchesne, represent economically important species cultivated worldwide (Whitaker and Davis 1962; Robinson and Decker-Walters 1996). The other two domesticated species, C. argyrosperma C. Huber and C. fi cifolia Bouché have more limited cultivation and use and will not be discussed here. Squash, pumpkins, and to a lesser extent gourds, are economically important crops, with world production estimated to be in excess of 20 million mtons grown on over 1.5 million hectares (FAOSTAT 2008). DeckerWalters and Walters (2000) provide a comprehensive description of fruit of both wild and domesticated forms of Cucurbita, along with an overview of phytogeographic origins of the different species and general food and ornamental uses. In North America in 2008, 859 thousand mtons of squash and pumpkins were produced on 39.4 thousand hectares, and the farm value was approximately 373 million U.S dollars (Statistics Canada 2008; USDA 2008). The agricultural statistical reporting does not separate ornamental pumpkin production from that used for canning and does not distinguish among winter and summer squash production.