Genomic Analysis of Cucurbit Fruit Growth

  • Rebecca Grumet
  • Marivi Colle
Part of the Plant Genetics and Genomics: Crops and Models book series (PGG, volume 20)


Fruit development in cucurbit species follows the canonical progression of ovary development, fruit set, expansive fruit growth, and maturation and ripening. This commonality, however, belies tremendous morphological diversity. Variation in timing, amount, and orientation of cell division and cell expansion pre- and post-anthesis, as well as factors influencing carpel number, floral sex, photosynthetic capacity and trichome development all drive extreme variability in fruit size and shape. New genomic approaches utilizing recently assembled draft genomes for the four major cucurbit crop species (Cucumis sativus, Cucumis melo, Citrullus lanatus, Cucurbita spp), next generation high throughput sequencing, molecular mapping methods, transcriptomic analyses, gene cloning, and transgenic approaches are all contributing to an increased understanding of the key processes underlying cucurbit fruit development. Extensive quantitative trait locus (QTL) analyses have identified numerous QTL for features such as ovary length, width, and shape, and fruit length, width, shape, flesh thickness and cavity diameter. Most recently, multi-pronged approaches combining mapping, sequence, and transcriptional analyses have allowed for identification specific candidate genes influencing cucurbit fruit morphology.


Cell division Cell expansion Cucurbitaceae Fruit development Fruit shape Fruit size Ovary QTL Transcriptome 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HorticultureMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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