Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 7:89-90 (article
A Collection of Wild and Cultivated Cucurbitaceae from Zambia
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
(collaborator) and University of California, San Diego,
Department of Biology, P.O. Box 150, La Jolla, CA 92038
During April, May and June, 1981, the International Board for
Plant Genetics Resources (IBPGR), in cooperation with the
Department of Agriculture and Water Development of Zambia,
sponsored a crop collecting expedition to explore the Southern,
Western, Copperbelt and Laupula provinces of Zambia for crop
germplasm (1). In addition to many other crops, 445 collections
of cucurbits were made. Sampling areas included farmers' fields,
threshing grounds, backyards, farm stores, village markets and
natural vegetation along forest margins. In order to sample as
wide a range of diversity as possible, most of the ecological
zones and agricultural systems within each province were sampled.
The Team Leader was K.L. Mehra (IBPGR Consultant), National
Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Pusa Campus, New Delhi 110013,
India. His efforts were supplemented by counterparts from the
various provinces of Zambia and local agricultural specialists.
The seed samples of cucurbits were sent to me for identification
by Dr. George A. White, Plant Introduction officer, USDA,
Beltsville, MD. This is probably the most extensive and
diversified collection of cucurbits ever assembled from Africa
(see Table 1). This collection should furnish plant breeders
working with the various cucurbit crops some new and much needed
material for their research.
Table 1. Cucurbit genetic resources collected in Zambia (1981).
The collection was made by an expedition sponsored by the
International Board for Plant Genetic Resources, and the Zambia
Department of Agriculture and Water Development; Leader - K. L.
No. of Collections
zThere are 2 questionable samples tentatively identified as Cucurbita maxima; 1 C. pepo; 2 Cucumis sp., and 1 Citrullus
This material will be processed and given Plant Introduction
numbers and sent to the appropriate Regional Plant Introduction
Station for increase, evaluation and subsequent distribution.
The determinations are reasonably accurate, but some items will
have to be grown in the field or greenhouse to establish their
- Mehra, K.L. 1981. Collecting in Zambia. Natl. Bureau Plant
Genetic Resources. pgs. 45-50.