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Vegetable Science
Year : 2022, Volume : 49, Issue : 1
First page : ( 1) Last page : ( 14)
Print ISSN : 0970-6585. Online ISSN : 2455-7552.

Origin, distribution, taxonomy, genetic diversity and genetic improvement of ash gourd {Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn.}

Swamy K.R.M.

Retd. Principal Scientist & Head, Division of Vegetable Crops, ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru-560089, Karnataka, Email: krmswamy@gmail.com

Online Published on 14 September, 2022.

Abstract

Ash gourd or wax gourd (Benincasa hispida), a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, is cultivated throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Fruits may be consumed immature (usually cooked or pickled) or mature (used in soups), and can also be used in confectionary. Apart from its nutritional value, wax gourd has also long been valued in Ayurvedic medicine. Current breeding efforts in wax gourd are focused on assessing available genetic diversity and the potential for heterosis. Research advances, including origin and geographic distribution, taxonomy, botanical description, genetic diversity, genetic resources, genetic improvement (cultivar groups, uses, breeding, and cultivars/varieties/hybrids), nutritional value of fruit, health benefits of fruit, ash gourd juice, ethnic/cultural significance regarding ash gourd are reviewed in this article. This review article provides a reference for basic and applied research on ash gourd, an important Cucurbitaceous vegetable crop.

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Keywords

Ash gourd, Origin, Germplasm, Genetic improvement, Genetic diversity, Varieties.

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