Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 10:9 (article 8) 1987
Genetic Variation in Soluble Solids of Cucumber
R. W. Robinson
Department of Horticultural Sciences, New York State Agricultural Experiment
Station, Geneva, NY 14456
High soluble solids of cucumber fruit can be detrimental for pickling,
due to bloating (1), but may benefit flavor of slicing cucumbers. Genetic
variation exists in cucumber for fruit soluble solids, though to a less
extent than in some other vegetables, including muskmelon, winter squash,
and tomato. McCreight, Lower, and Pharr (3) reported variation in reducing
sugar content of 30 cucumber varieties and introductions. McCombs, Sox,
and Lower (2) found significant differences in both reducing sugars and
soluble solids content of five pickling varieties, but little variation
in soluble solids of the more than 200 introductions and 50 varieties tested.
Juice was expressed from thawed transverse slices from the center of
uniform sized fruit of 246 varieties and introductions of cucumber, and
soluble solids was evaluated with a hand refractometer. Soluble solids content
ranged from 3.0 to 5.2%. Entries with the lowest soluble solids content
included PI 175686, PI 257486, PI 264668, and PI 283902.
The variety 'Lemon', despite its low yield, odd fruit shape and color,
late maturity, and disease susceptibility, is popular with some home gardeners
because they prefer its flavor. Interestingly, its fruit were higher in
soluble solids than any other variety or introduction tested. 'Crystal Apple',
which is similar to and is probably related to 'Lemon', was also high in
soluble solids. The possible beneficial effect of high soluble solids on
flavor, and the effect of the m gene of 'Lemon' and 'Crystal Apple'
on fruit:vine ratio and fruit soluble solids, deserves further investigation.
Fruit pH of 225 introductions and varieties varied from 5.9 (for PI 175697)
to 6.9 (for PI 275411 and 'Crystal Apple'), with 95% of the entries having
pH of 6.0-6.6.
- Etchells, J. L., A. F. Borg, and T. A. Bell. 1968. Bloater formation
by gas-forming lactic acid bacteria in cucumber fermentations. Appl.
- McCombs, C. L., H. N. Sox, and R. L. Lower. 1976. Sugar and dry matter
content of cucumber fruits. HortScience 11:245-247.
- McCreight, J. D., R. L. Lower, and D. M. Pharr. 1978. Measurement
and variation of sugar concentration of pickling cucumbers. J. Amer.
Soc. Hort. Sci. 103:145-147.