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Genomic Advances in Cucurbitaceae: Implications for Crop Improvement and Breeding  

Xuewen Xu , Xiaodong Yang , Xuehao Chen
School of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, 225009, China
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Horticulture, 2024, Vol. 14, No. 3   doi: 10.5376/ijh.2024.14.0013
Received: 17 Feb., 2024    Accepted: 30 Apr., 2024    Published: 10 May, 2024
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Preferred citation for this article:

Xu X.W., Yang X.D., and Chen X.H., 2024, Genomic advances in Cucurbitaceae: implications for crop improvement and breeding, International Journal of Horticulture, 14(3): 111-120 (doi: 10.5376/ijh.2024.14.0013)


The Cucurbitaceae family, encompassing a wide array of economically and nutritionally significant crops, has been the focus of extensive genomic research aimed at enhancing breeding and crop improvement. Recent advancements in sequencing technologies and bioinformatics have led to the sequencing of genomes from various Cucurbitaceae species, providing valuable insights into gene identification, genome evolution, and genetic variation. This has opened new avenues for molecular breeding, leveraging genetic transformation and gene editing technologies, including CRISPR/Cas9, to overcome the limitations of conventional breeding methods. The integration of next-generation sequencing (NGS) and omics approaches has furthered our understanding of complex traits, such as disease resistance and fruit quality, and has facilitated the development of high-density genetic maps and the identification of functional genes. Additionally, the construction of genetic and cytogenetic maps has been instrumental in revealing the genomic structure of cucurbit crops, aiding in the alignment of linkage groups with chromosomes and enhancing marker-assisted selection. The exploration of genetic diversity through the analysis of wild Cucurbitaceae species using cytogenetic mapping has also contributed to the phylogenetic understanding and breeding resource development. With the accumulation of genomic resources and the advent of high-throughput genotyping methods, new strategies such as genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and the use of multi-parent populations have emerged, leading to the discovery of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for key agronomic traits. The synergy of these genomic tools and their implications for breeding is poised to revolutionize the improvement of Cucurbitaceae crops, ensuring food security and meeting the demands of a growing population.

Cucurbitaceae; Genomic sequencing; Genetic transformation; Gene editing; Genetic linkage map; Cytogenetic mapping; Marker-assisted selection; Genome-wide association studies; Quantitative trait loci
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