Bottle gourd germplasm collection in Turkey


10th EUCARPIA Meeting on Genetics and Breeding of Cucurbitaceae, Antalya, Turkey, 15 - 18 October 2012, pp.643-651 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Antalya
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.643-651
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


Bottle gourd [Lagenaria siceraria (Mol.) Stanley] is one of the first plant species domesticated for human use as food, medicine and various utensils and instruments made from the large hard-shelled fruit. The five wild species of bottle gourd are native to the northern half of Africa, L. siceraria is the only cultivated species of the 6 Lagenaria species and belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae. The cultivated species originated in Africa has been spread to all over the world and grown in Turkey for centuries with various purposes such as cooked vegetable, household containers, musical instruments, and decorations. The preservation of bottle gourd germplasm is important to maintain genetic diversity in Turkey where rapid and progressive genetic erosion occurs. A primary germplasm collection was initiated in 2003-2004 by collection of 182 accessions in southern part of the country. Tremendous morphological variations for fruit size and shape among preserved accessions were recorded. A new project proposal to collect bottle gourds germplasm for the rest of the country and to investigate genetic diversity in germplasm was supported by TUBITAK in 2011. Since then seeds of 180 new accessions displaying unique morphological characteristics for fruits were gathered from all over the country other than Mediterranean region. As expected the fruits were found to show bottle, club-shaped or globular with vast variation. Size of fruits varied from less than 50 grams to 15 kg. Seeds of old and new collections of Turkish bottle gourds and 38 accessions obtained from gene banks of USA, Russia and India have been planted in Mersin in the spring of 2012 for detailed morphological characterization and more seed production for preservation. This collection representing genetic diversity of bottle gourds of Turkey will be a good core collection for preservation and moreover it will be good source to breeding and physiological researches of bottle gourd.