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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 12:16-17 (article 7) 1989

Seed Weight of Cucumber Cultivars

Todd C. Wehner and Rufus R. Horton, Jr.

Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

It is useful to know the weight of cucumber seeds for cultivars being grown for research and production, since many operations are done by weight even though it is number that is of interest. For example, to achieve the proper stand, Knott's Handbook for Vegetable Growers recommends planting 2 to 3 lb/A of seed (1). The handbook bases that recommendation on its published value of 1100 seeds/ounce for the typical cucumber cultivar.

We have observed differences in seed weight among cultivars, and were interested to know how our measurements compared with the published estimates. The objective of this study was to compare seed weights for cucumber cultivars commonly used for field production in the U.S.A.

Methods. Seeds of 9 different breeding lines and cultivars (collectively referred to as cultigens hereafter) were obtained from seeds companies and the N.C. State Univ. breeding program. The cultigens were chosen to represent pickling and slicing fruit types, northern and southern adaptation, and compact, determinate and little leaf plant types. Seeds were divided into 4 lots of 500 seeds to provide replication for the measurement of seed weight. Seed weight was then converted into number of seeds per gram, ounce and pound for use by those who use those measures.

Results. There was a large range in number of seeds per ounce among the 9 cultigens and 4 samples counted (Table 1). Cultivars had between 904 and 1291 seeds per ounce in the sample counted, ranging 18% below to 17% above the figure of 1100 seeds per ounce published by Lorenz and Maynard (1).

The only cultigen that did not fit the general trend for seed size was the compact (cp cp) type. In addition to small vine size, that gene results in plants with small, deformed seeds, and a low percentage of germination. There are more than twice as many seeds per ounce (approx. 2600) of the compact type compared to the other cultigens (approx. 1100).

In summary, the published number of seeds is very close to the value we measured for the cultigens here (excluding the small-seeded compact type). However, the specific cultigen being used can diverge significantly from the general value of 1100 seeds per ounce.

Table 1. Seed number per gram, ounce, and pound for 9 cucumber cultigens of 5 different types.z

 

 

Seeds/g

Seeds/oz

Seeds/lb

Cultigen

Type

Mean

Range

Mean

Range

Mean

Range

Sprint 440

Slicer

32

32-33

921

904-929

14731

14464-14872

Pioneer

Pickle

34

34-34

955

953-958

15283

15252-15324

Calypso

Pickle

35

33-36

991

947-1027

15851

15150-16434

Sumter

Pickle

36

35-36

1018

1002-1029

16291

16028-16458

Dasher II

Slicer

37

36-37

1037

1035-1042

16600

16554-16676

M 21

de de

39

37-39

1098

1050-1118

17562

16799-17886

Poinsett 76

Slicer

45

45-46

1278

1268-1291

20541

20286-20655

Little John

ll ll

46

46-47

1313

1303-1323

21005

20845-21176

Compact

cp cp

92

86-98

2611

2444-2790

41784

39102-44644

 

LSD (5%)

2

-

72

-

1146

-

 

CV (%)

4

-

4

-

4

-

 

Mean (all cultigens)

44

-

1247

-

19951

-

 

Mean (compact excluded)

38

-

1076

-

17222

-

z Data are from 4 replications of 500 seeds each. Cultigens are pickling, slicing, compact (cp), determine (de) or little leaf (ll) types.

Literature Cited

  1. Lorenz, O.A. and D.N. Maynard. 1980. Knott's Handbook for Vegetable Growers, 2nd edition. John Wiley and Sons, New York. p. 57.
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Department of Horticultural Science Box 7609North Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, NC 27695-7609919-515-5363
Page citation: Wehner, T.C., Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative;
Created by T.C. Wehner and T. Ng, 1 June 2005; design by C.T. Glenn;
send questions to T.C. Wehner; last revised on 23 October, 2009