Cucurbits Physiological Stages of Growth

Authored by: Lord Abbey

Handbook of Cucurbits

Print publication date:  February  2016
Online publication date:  February  2016

Print ISBN: 9781482234589
eBook ISBN: 9781482234596
Adobe ISBN:


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Cucurbitaceae is a family of angiosperms that is made up of approximately 120 genera and 850 species (Gerrath et al., 2008; Welbaum, 2014). It is the most commonly used plant species for food, utensils, medicine, and artifacts throughout the world (Okoli, 1984). Plants belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family are botanically identical with similar flower anatomy. However, members of this plant family can easily be identified by the differences in growth habits, physical features, and size of their leaves, tendrils, vines (stem), and fruits (Rubatzky and Yamaguchi, 1997). The different cucurbitaceous fruits also have varied concentrations of the tetracyclic triterpene compound, cucurbitacin, which is also known as the “bitter principle.” This chemical compound characterizes the bitter taste experienced when eating cucurbitaceous fruits such as cucumbers and melons (Welbaum, 2014).

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