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Keywords:

  • crop improvement;
  • Cucumis;
  • Cucurbitaceae;
  • Horal biology;
  • new crops;
  • palynology;
  • phytochemistry;
  • seed-coatanatomy;
  • sex control;
  • sex expression;
  • taxonomy

Progress in studies of Cucurbitaceae since 1964 is reviewed, particular attention being paid to the roles of seed-coat anatomy, palynology and phytochemistry in elucidating the taxonomy of the family; to the use of wild species and land-races as sources of horticulturally desirable traits for the improvement of crops; to the potentialities of wild species for domestication as new crops for tropical areas, and to the biology of reproduction, sex control and sex expression. The classification of the lady is outlined, illustrated by discussion of the more important members of each tribe, and a revised classification ofCucumis is presented.