Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 20:6062 (article 27) 1997
Evaluation of Gherkin Germplasm
M.S. Dhaliwal
Department of Vegetable Crops, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana141 004, India
Introduction. Gherkin, burgherkin or West Indian gherkin is botanically known as Cucumis anguria L. and is a diploid species having chromosome number 2n=24. It has descended from a nonbitter variant of an African wild species C. longipes Hook, which bears bitter fruits. Fruits of gherkin are small, eggshaped and are borne on a long peduncle. The fruits can be consumed fresh in salads, processed in pickles or cooked as a vegetable (1). Gherkin is not grown in this part of India, so an effort has been made to evaluate this germplasm under Punjab conditions.
Material and Methods. Fortyeight lines of gherkin were introduced from North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station, Ames during 1994. These genotypes were grown at Vegetable Research Farm, PAU, Ludhiana during summer 1995 under replicated trial. Each replication accommodated five plants. Spacing between rows and plants was maintained at 3 m x 50 cm respectively. Two rows were planted per bed. Data were recorded for only 44 genotypes as 8 lines did not germinate. Quantitative characters studied include cotyledon size (L x B, cm ^{2}), fruit number per plant, fruit shape (E/P), vine length (m) and yield (kg/plant). Based upon the performance in the first year, 18 lines were planted during 1996 for reevaluation.
Results and Discussion. Number of fruits/ vine ranged from 4 for TGR 898 to 138 for PI 386034 (Table 1). Other prolific fruit bearing lines were PI 386032 (1000), PI 396055 (80), TGR 1253 (78), PI 386052 (75), PI 386085 (75), PI 282442 (65), PI 147065 (65) and Clark No. 156 (63). the highest fruit yield/plant was recorded in PI 282442 (2kg), followed by PI 386052 (1.8kg), PI 386085 (1.4kg), PI 386055 (1.4kg), PI 196477 (1.375kg), and PI 438679 and PI 386034 (1.3kg each). Vine length varied from 1.07 m in PI 386076 to 3.58 m in PI 386052. Other genotypes having vine length greater than 3 m include TGR 539 (3.18m), TGR 1928 (3.13m), PI 386071 (3.10m) and PI 282442 (3m). Fruit shape ratio varied from 2.2 for PI 233646 to 1.1 for TGR 1253.
Correlation coefficients were estimated between yield/plant and fruit number/plant, vine length, cotyledon size and fruit shape. Estimation of correlation (Table1) indicated that yield might be improved by selecting for fruit number and vine length. Fruit shape and cotyledon size had no correlation with yield cannot be used as a selection criterion for improving gherkin yields.
Eighteen lines producing average yield of 0.80 kg/plant or more during 1995 were replanted during 1996. Among these lines, PI 438679, PI 196477, PI 147065 and PI 320052 had yields in 1996 that were similar to the 1995 yields (Table 2). The fruit of these four PIs are eggshaped, nonbitter and with the exception of PI 147065 have smooth surfaces. PI 438679, PI 196477, PI 147065 and PI 320052 are all commercially acceptable.
Table 1. Evaluation of gherkin germplasm during 1995.
SR No. 
Line 
Fruit No./Plant 
Vine Length (m) 
Cotyledon Size (cm^{2} ) 
Fruit Shape (E/P) 
Yield/Plant (kg) 
1 
PI233646 
50 
1.1660 
0.640 
2.200 
1.100 
2 
PI386082 
22 
2.580 
1.440 
1.300 
0.591 
3 
PI482385 
29 
1.950 
1.200 
1.600 
0.357 
4 
PI386023 
100 
2.000 
0.560 
1.400 
0.500 
5 
PI386075 
32 
1.750 
0.310 
1.300 
0.450 
6 
PI386034 
138 
2.500 

1.600 
1.300 
7 
PI386029 
58 
2.000 
0.630 
1.700 
0.967 
8 
PI438679 
52 
2.400 
1.280 
1.700 
1.375 
9 
PI320052 
38 
2.500 
0.580 
1.500 
0.205 
10 
PI196477 
62 
2.700 
0.850 
1.800 
0.300 
11 
PI386044 
19 
2.500 
0.750 
1.700 
0.629 
12 
PI438570 
28 
2.200 
1.250 
1.800 
0.350 
13 
Clark No. 156 
63 
2.000 
1.740 
1.200 
0.300 
14 
PI386062 
22 
2.730 
0.970 
1.700 
0.733 
15 
PI386080 
35 
1.750 
0.740 
1.600 
1.050 
16 
Gatooma 29 
11 
2.790 
0.530 
1.600 
0.460 
17 
Gatooma 26 
51 
2.760 
0.900 
2.000 
0.700 
18 
TGR1928 
19 
3.130 
1.640 
2.000 
0.483 
19 
TGR80 
30 
3.570 
1.090 
2.000 
0.150 
20 
TGR539 
17 
3.180 
0.910 
1.500 
1.800 
21 
TGR289 
8 
2.000 
1.370 
1.500 
1.100 
22 
TGR235 
40 
2.600 
1.470 
1.900 
0.210 
23 
TGR1253 
78 
3.550 
0.830 
1.100 
0.080 
24 
TGR898 
4 
2.120 
1.470 
1.700 
1.100 
25 
PI442176 
15 
2.140 
0.750 
1.700 
0.150 
26 
PI147065 
65 
2.250 
0.820 
2.000 
1.150 
27 
PI386076 
40 
1.070 
0.400 
1.600 
0.160 
28 
PI386071 
38 
3.100 
0.590 
1.400 
0.125 
29 
PI386070 
15 
1.530 
0.400 
1.800 
0.400 
30 
PI386086 
8 
2.200 
0.430 
1.800 
0.800 
31 
PI386085 
75 
2.000 
0.740 
1.400 
0.350 
32 
PI386052 
75 
3.580 
0.670 
1.700 

33 
PI386067 
24 
1.410 
0.620 
2.000 
0.350 
34 
PI386036 
22 
1.550 
0.320 
1.900 
0.255 
35 
PI386039 
23 
1.750 
0.590 
1.600 
0.210 
36 
PI386064 
14 
1.900 
0.910 
1.200 

37 
PI386037 
53 
2.500 
0.510 
1.500 
0.900 
38 
PI386055 
80 
0.050 

1.600 
1.400 
39 
PI386048 
56 

0.460 
1.700 
1.060 
40 
PI386066 
50 
2.300 
0.330 
1.500 
0.700 
41 
PI386051 
40 
1.830 
0.370 
2.000 
0.375 
42 
PI386054 
60 
1.100 
0.440 
1.600 
0.850 
43 
PI282442 
65 
3.000 
0.550 
1.300 
2.000 
44 
PI482383 
50 
2.700 
1.190 
1.600 
0.840 
CD at P=0.05 

3.45 
0.640 
0.090 
0.130 
0.210 
Corr. with yield 
0.69 
0.470 
0.020 
0.130 

Table 2. Yield and fruit characteristics of selected gherkin lines during 1996.
SR 
Line 
Fruit No/Plant 
Yield/plant (kg) 
Fruit surface 
Fruit shape 
Fruit taste 
1 
PI438679 
42.4 
0.920 
Smooth 
Egg 
Nonbitter 
2 
Pi196477 
60.7 
1.360 
Smootj 
Egg 
Nonbitter 
3 
PI147065 
60.2 
1.400 
Spined 
Egg 
Nonbitter 
4 
PI320052 
40.3 
0.820 
Smooth 
Egg 
Nonbitter 
CD a P=0.05

5.17 
0.250 

Acknowledgment: I am grateful to North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station, Ames, Iowa USA, for providing seed material.
Literature Cited
 Whitaker, T.W. and G.N. Davis. 1962. Cucurbits: Botany, Cultivation and
Utilization. Leonard Hill, London, 250 pp.