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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 17:6-11 (article 2) 1994

A Core Collection for Cucumber: A Starting Point

J.E. Staub

Vegetable Crops Research, USDA/ARS, Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI 53706

James McCreight and I have recently returned from a plant collection trip to India (McCreight and Staub, 1993). This collection trip increased the number of accessions in each of the U.S. cucumber and melon collections by approximately 20%. These accessions are currently being increased at the Regional plant Introduction Station, Ames, Iowa. After their increase these accessions will be further evaluated for various morphological and biochemical polymorphisms.

Although collection and evaluation efforts such as these are important for maintaining an adequate level of genetic diversity in these crops, the management of the collections will be increasingly difficult given the projected limited resources. It has been the continued desire of the U.S. Plant Introduction System to devise efficient management strategies which enable the use of a wide range of diverse materials in collections. This has led to proposals for the development of core collections. A core collection should not be considered a separate collection, but rather a subset of an existing collection. The purpose of a core collection is to facilitate use and provide efficient access to the potential variation that exists in the whole collection (Brown 1989a,b; Frankel and Brown, 1984).

It has been suggested in discussions at U.S. Cucurbit Crop Advisory Committee meetings and other U.S. National meetings on germplasm diversity (e.g. meetings of the Genetics and Germplasm Working Group, American Society for Horticultural Science) that the cucumber collection is small and not well characterized. This has led to a general consensus that cucumber would not lend itself to the establishment of a core collection. However, based on the fact that the cucumber collection has now been evaluated for various disease resistances, cold. drought and heat tolerance, yield performance, various morphological characteristics, and biochemical variation, I submit that further discussion on this subject is warranted.

In this edition of the Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report, I reported the results of a survey intended to ascertain the general feeling among U.S. cucumber researchers regarding the potential need of a cucumber core collection. This survey suggested that there is a desire and need for continued discussion regarding the Core Concept as it might apply to cucumber. In an effort to stimulate such a discussion, in 1993 I requested that the 24 respondents of the original survey provide me with more information regarding their impressions on which cultigens (adapted or unadapted inbreds, hybrids, populations) might be used to construct a core collection in cucumber if it were deemed appropriate. The results of this survey are presented in Table 1.

for a core collection to be effective it must mirror the genetic diversity found in the whole collection of which it is a subset (National Research Council, 1991). Typically, core collections are considered to house no more than 10% of the collection from which they are drawn (Brown, 1989a,b; Frankel and Brown, 1984). I suggest that further discussion as to the potential establishment of a core collection for cucumber be based on these two guiding principles (i.e., potential diversity and size). It is possible that, based on the present genetic information available, cucumber subsets might be constructed which would provide researchers with accessions which, taken collectively, possess genetic diversity for specific characteristics (e.g.,disease resistance and environmental stress tolerance).

Table 1. Cultigen PIs which warrant consideration for possible inclusion in a core collection for cucumber.

Cultigen/PI Reason for inclusion
163213 anthracnose resistance
163217 anthracnose resistance
164743 low reducing sugar concentration
165499 disease resistance
165509 disease resistance
173889 disease resistance Bt gene
175120 multiple tolerance or resistance
175686 low soluble solids
175697 fruit pH of 5.9
179676 multiple disease resistance, downy mildew, good fruit type
181755 cold germination
183967 multiple & sequential fruiting character, hardwickii
188749 triazine tolerance
188807 vigor,wilt and multiple disease resistance, triazine tolerance
197085 multiple disease resistance
197087 anthracnose, downy, powdery mildew resistance, India
197088 multiple disease resistance
200815 wilt resistance
200818 wilt resistance, bacterial wilt resistance
211983 cold germination
211984 ambien tolerance
212233 powdery mildew resistance
212599 gold germination
220791 cold germination
220860 multiple disease resistance, gynoecious character
222243 cold germination
227207 multiple disease resistance
227208 multiple disease resistance
234517 powdery mildew resistance
249561 disease resistance
249562 disease resistance
257586 low soluble solids
263079 cold germination
064688 ambien tolerance, low soluble solids
267087 cold germination
267746 biochemical variation
267747 Alko bush cucumber
267942 multiple disease resistance
269480 biochemical variation
275411 fruit pH of 6.9
279465 disease resistance, angular leaf spot,. 'Natsufushinari'
283902 low soluble solids
285603 low reducint sugar concentration

powdery mildew resistance; comes from 'Yomahi'

306179 cold germination
308915 dwarf (short internode)
308916 dwarf (short internode)
321006 disease resistance
321007 disease resistance
321008 disease resistance
321011 'Taichung Mou Gua', virus resistance
351139 hermaphroditic
351140 hermaphroditic
355052 best alpar from Israel
356809 hermaphroditic
360939 'kora', European pickle, prolific
369717 androeious
372893 bitterfree
390244 atrazine tolerance390258
390258 powdery mildew resistance
390260 triazine tolerance
400270 'Kyoto Three Feet'
418962 powdery mildew resistance, downy mildew resistance
418964 powdery mildew resistance, downy mildew resistance
418989 cold tolerant
419009 cold tolerant
419017 heat resistant
426169 powdery mildew resistance
426170 powdery mildew resistance
432860 biochemical variation
432895 powdery mildew resistance
451975 powdery mildew resistance, downy mildew resistance
451976 powdery mildew resistance, downy mildew resistance
458845 biochemical
Addis disease resistance, long pickle
Arkansas Little Leaf sequential fruiting, multiple branching
Ashley classic variety, old slicer
Chinese Long CMV, PRV, WMV, ZYMV resistance
Chipper disease resistance, fruit quality, fruit shape, old pickle
Clinton pickle, dark green fruit, small seed cavity, disease resistance
Coolgreen Beit Alpha
Delcrow late slicer
Dual long pickle
Delikatess Germany
Galaxy old pickle
Germin Clemson University
Gy 54/57 disease resistance, gynoecious slicing hybrid parent, GCA*
Gyn 3 disease resistance, gynoecious
Gyn 14 disease resistance, gynoecious character, GCA
Gyn 4 disease resistance, high yielding
Gyn 5 disease resistance
Gyn 57u gynoecious slicer
Homegreen #2 GSB resistant **
Lemon genes m, l, and yg
M21 disease resistance, determinate gene, fruit quality, GCA, dwarf
M27 disease resistance, dwarf
Marketmore slicer, non-bitter, uniform color, classic for type & disease resistance
Marketmore 76 classic for type & disease resistance, northern slicer
Marketmore 76F disease resistance
Marketmore 80F disease resistance, gynoecious slicer
Marketmore 83 slicer representative
Marketmore 85 dwarf slicer
Marketmore 87 disease resistance
Marketmore 88 disease resistance, slicer
Marketer Important sw check; induced resistance, classic variety
Minn. Dwarf XII de
Model classic variety
MSU 713-5 disease resistance
National pickling historically important
Ohio MR 17 historically important
Palmetto Clemson University
Pixie Clemson University, bloater susceptible
Poinsett dm resistance; classic for type & disease resistance
Poinsett 76 classic for type & disease resistance, southern slicer
Poinsett 83F gynoecious slicer
Poinsett 87 disease resistance & scab, CMV and TLS***
Poinsett 88 disease resistance, slicer
Polaris dm resistance, Clemson Univ.
Regal high yield, long pickle type
Slice GSB resistance
SMR 18 classic variety, disease resistance, vigor, cold tolerance, GCA
Spacemaster slicer, determinate vine, dwarf slicer
Spartan Salad PMR and some DMR and CMV
Straight 8 old susceptible slicer
Stono Clemson University
Summit old southern pickle
Sumter old southern pickle
Supergreen-butalpha Beit Alpha type
Tablegreen 65 mosaic resistance
Tablegreen 72 old slicer
Telegraph parthenocarpic
Tiny dill dwarf pickle
TMG-1 CMV and virus resistance
Tokyo Long Green virus resistance
W1082HP hermaphrodite, parthenocarpic, pickle


multiple disease resistance pick;e; combining PMR with TLS
Wautoma northern pickle
White wonder white slicer
Yomaki homozygous F/F
Zeppelin schalgurken

* GCA - General combining ability for yield as measured by F1 performance.
** GSB = Gummy stem blight resistance
*** TLS = Target leaf spot resistance

Literature Cited

  1. Brown, A.H.D. 1989a. The case for core collections. p. 136-156. In: A.H.D. Brown, O.H. Frankel, D.R. Marshall, and J.T. Williams (ed.). The Uses of Plant Genetic Resources. Cambridge University Press, New York.
  2. Brown, A.H.D. 1989b. Core collections: A practical approach to genetic resources management. Genome 31:818-824.
  3. Frankel, O.H., and A.H.D. Brown. 1984. Plant genetic resources today: a critical appraisal. P. 249-257. IOn: J.W. Holden and J.T. Williams (ed.). Crop Genetic Resources: Conservation and Evaluation. Allen and Unwin, London.
  4. McCreight H.D. and J.E. Staub. 1993. Indo-US Cucumis germplasm expedition. HortScience 28:467. (Abstract)
  5. National REsearch Council. 1991. Prescription for effectiveness. p. 124-126. In: Board on Agriculture, National Academy of Sciences. Managing Global Genetic Resources: The U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.


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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 11 December, 2009