The botanical family Cucurbitaceae, commonly known as cucurbits and gourds, includes many economically important cultivated plants, such as cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), melon (C. melo L.), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai), squash, and pumpkin (Cucurbita spp). Agricultural production of cucurbits utilizes nine million hectares of land, and yields 184 million tons of vegetables, fruits, and seeds annually (http://faostat.fao.org). The cucurbit family also displays a rich diversity of sex expression, and the cucumber has served as a primary model system for sex determination studies. Furthermore, the cucurbits are model plants for the study of vascular biology, as both xylem and phloem sap can readily be collected for studies on long-distance signaling events that function in the integration of physiological and developmental processes at the whole-plant level. Despite their agricultural and biological importance, cucurbits are a group of under-investigated or ‘orphan’ crops that have few genetic and genomic resources.
Cucumber has seven pairs of chromosomes and a haploid genome of 367 Mb, which is smaller than other species in Cucurbitaceae family. Here, we have sequenced and assembled the genome of the domestic cucumber, C. sativus var. sativus L. The assembled N50 contig and scaffold sizes were 19.8 Kb and 1.14 Mb, respectively. Using the genetic map , we anchored 72.8% of the assembled sequences onto the 7 chromosomes. A total of 26,682 genes were predicted in the current cucumber genome.
As the first sequenced vegetable crop, cucumber genome will provide an invaluable new resource for biological research and breeding of cucurbits. To better manage the cucumber genome data and facilitate public academic users to access the genome data and related information, we developed the Cucumber Genome Database.
1.Han YH, Zhang ZH, Liu JH, Lu JY, Huang SW, Jin WW. Distribution of the tandem repeat sequences and karyotyping in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Cytogenetic and Genome Research, 2008, 122(1): 80-88.
2.Ren Y, Zhang Z, Liu J, Staub JE, Han Y, et al. (2009) An Integrated Genetic and Cytogenetic Map of the Cucumber Genome. PLoS ONE 4: e5795.
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