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Meiotic analyses ofCucumis hybrids and an evolutionary evaluation of the genusCucumis (Cucurbitaceae)


Meiosis in seven interspecificCucumis hybrids has been analysed i.a. inC. metuliferus ×C. zeyheri, where the parents belong to different sections. In the triploid hybrids a remarkably high number of trivalents has been found. Additional data from literature on geographical distribution, cucurbitacins, flavonoid patterns, isozymes, C-banding, genome size, DNA amount and chloroplast DNA are used to discuss species relationships and evolution. The African cross-compatible group is divided into theMyriocarpus subgroup with the diploid speciesC. africanus, C. myriocarpus subsp.leptodermis and subsp.myriocarpus, and theAnguria subgroup withC. anguria, C. dipsaceus, C. ficifolius, C. prophetarum, C. zeyheri and all polyploids (exceptC. heptadactylus). It is argued that the Asian subg.Melo with x = 7 is derived from the African subg.Cucumis with x = 12; the latter contains all the polyploid species and has the most common basic chromosome number of theCucurbitaceae. This phylogenetic advance is interpreted with concepts of the quantum model of evolution.

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van Raamsdonk, L.W.D., den Nijs, A.P.M. & Jongerius, M.C. Meiotic analyses ofCucumis hybrids and an evolutionary evaluation of the genusCucumis (Cucurbitaceae). Pl Syst Evol 163, 133–146 (1989).

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Key words

  • Angiosperms
  • Cucurbitaceae
  • Cucumis
  • C. sativus
  • C. melo
  • C. metuliferus
  • C. anguria
  • C. zeyheri
  • C. myriocarpus subsp.leptodermis
  • comb. nov.
  • Crossing experiments
  • meiosis of hybrids
  • polyploidy
  • isozymes
  • DNA analysis
  • evolution