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A new checklist confirms Indian origins of pumpkins and cucumbers
Date:3/11/2013

In 2010, it was shown that pumpkins and cucumbers can be traced back to India. Because of the importance of the region for an understanding of Cucurbitaceae evolution and diversity, a new checklist of the Cucurbitaceae of India was produced to update the information on that family. The study was published in the open access journal PhytoKeys.

Vegetables are essential components of a healthy daily diet, not just in India but around the globe. Compared to grains and pulses, however, vegetables are under-investigated taxonomically, and information on their genome is scarce. The cucumber family, Cucurbitaceae, includes many of our favorite foods: pumpkins, melon, cucumber, watermelon, bottle gourds, and bitter gourd. Molecular data have recently revealed that both cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and melon (Cucumis melo L.) are indigenous to India and likely to have originated from the foothills of the Himalayas.

Arun Pandey from the Department of Botany, University of Delhi, India and Susanne Renner from the Departments of Systematic Botany and Mycology, University of Munich, Germany decided to produce a checklist of the Cucurbitaceae of India that would bring up-to-date the information available for that family. The list treats 400 relevant names and provides information on the collecting locations for all type specimens. The list includes 94 species (10 of them endemic to India) from 31 genera.

For each species, the checklist provides distributional information, electronic links to images of living or dried plants, and informatio
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Contact: Susanne Renner
renner@lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Pensoft Publishers
Source:Eurekalert  

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