Orange-fleshed cucumber (Cucumis sativus var. sativus L.) germplasm from North-East India: agro-morphological, biochemical and evolutionary studies


The common cucumber is low in carotenoid content with white flesh colour while orange fleshed cucumber germplasm from north-east region of India has high carotenoid content and thus, appears to be promising for utilization in breeding programme. The current study was conducted on morphological, biochemical and organoleptic assessment of five orange fleshed cucumber germplasm and comparison was drawn with the check variety ‘Pusa Uday’. Since this landrace is not common, botanical description was provided based on morphological observations. A distinct seed morphology with pointed tip of about 0.1 mm at distal end of the seed was noticed in all the carotenoid rich accessions. The carotenoid content of immature and mature fruits ranged from 4.08 to 8.21 and 22.99 to 54.84 (µg/g), respectively as compared to 2.54 µg/g in check variety Pusa Uday. The carotenoid rich germplasm has high potential for enriching food and alleviating vitamin A deficiency in the country. Morphological characters, anatomical evidences, trends of distribution and uses suggest the prevalence of diversity of orange fleshed cucumbers in north-east region of India. The germplasm having common character viz., orange flesh colour in adjoining regions of Myanmar and southern China are indicative of close linkages of continuous variation in this region.

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Authors are thankful to the Director, ICAR-NBPGR, and ICAR-IARI, Pusa Campus, New Delhi for providing the facilities for undertaking the evaluation work and facilitating seed increase. Also grateful to the OIC, Germplasm Exchange and Policy Unit and Head, Division of Germplasm Conservation for their help and logistic support for carrying out this work. The authors thank Drs Joseph K John and Dr K V Bhat for sharing knowledge and study.


This study was conducted by using the institutional funding resources from ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi.

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Correspondence to Pragya Ranjan.

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Ranjan, P., Pandey, A., Munshi, A.D. et al. Orange-fleshed cucumber (Cucumis sativus var. sativus L.) germplasm from North-East India: agro-morphological, biochemical and evolutionary studies. Genet Resour Crop Evol 66, 1217–1230 (2019).

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  • Orange fleshed
  • Cucumber
  • Carotenoid
  • Landrace
  • Biochemical
  • Morphology
  • Seed
  • Domestication