Cucurbit Breeding at NC State

The Cucurbit Breeding Project at North Carolina State University, Raleigh is under the direction of Todd Wehner. Project personnel are involved with research that includes the breeding and genetics of cucumber, watermelon, specialty melon, and other cucurbits such as luffa sponge gourd. We also work on stevia breeding.

Our research focuses on the following areas: collection and evaluation of germplasm, qualitative genetics of important traits, quantitative genetics, selection methods, yield improvement, induced mutation, and resistance to cold, insects, and disease. Our work is done primarily in 3 laboratories, 6 greenhouses, 3 drying barns, 1 disease chamber, 1 propagation bench, 2 growth rooms, and 4 experiment stations (Clinton, Goldsboro, Oxford, and Whiteville) made available to us by the university.

These web pages will provide you with an overview of our work, and will let you access information, articles, and software we have produced.

You can also visit the pages for the courses I teach (HS 590, HS 541 and HS 790), and for the plant breeding program at NC State (see the link for related groups).

General Information

The Cucurbits (Cucurbitaceae)

  • One of top 5 crop families of the Angiosperms (besides Poaceae, Fabaceae, Brassicaceae, Solanaceae)
    • Cucumber and its relatives
      • Cucumis sativus, cucumber
      • Cucumis sativus var. hardwickii, wild cucumber
      • Cucumis hystrix (and Cucumis hytivus), xishuangbana gourd
    • Melon and its relatives
      • Cucumis melo, melon (cantaloupe)
      • Cucumis melo var. flexuosus, snake melon
      • Cucumis anguria, West Indian gherkin
    • Squash and pumpkin
      • Cucurbita pepo, summer squash and pumpkin
      • Cucurbita maxima, winter squash and pumpkin
      • Cucurbita moschata, tropical pumpkin
    • Watermelon, citron, egusi melon, and colocynth
      • Citrullus lanatus, sweet watermelon
      • Citrullus amarus, citron
      • Citrullus mucosospermus, egusi melon
      • Citrullus colocynthis, colocynth
    • Gourds and other cucurbits
      • Benincasa, wax gourd
      • Luffa, luffa gourd and ridge gourd
      • Momordica, bitter gourd
    • Cucurbitaceae taxonomy dendrogram (Kocyan, Zhang, Schaefer & Renner, 2007)
    • Synteny of watermelon, melon and cucumber