Biotech Updates

Scientists Develop First Physical Map of Cucumber Genome

June 5, 2009

A team of researchers from the National Maize Improvement Center of China, University of Wisconsin and Chinese Ministry of Agriculture has produced an integrated genetic and cytogenetic map of the cucumber genome, an important resource for plant breeders developing better cucurbit crops. The map includes 995 simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers in seven linkage groups which spans in total 573 centimorgans. Among the 995 SSRs, 49%, 26% and 22% were conserved in melon, watermelon and pumpkin, respectively. FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization) analysis was used to establish the relationships between linkage groups and cucumber chromosomes.

The map, according to researchers, is the first reported for a cucurbit species. Yi Ren and colleagues, noted in a paper published by PloS ONE, that the availability of such map would facilitate whole genome sequencing and positional cloning, enhance marker-assisted selection, and provide opportunities to investigate synteny among cucurbit species.

The paper is available at