Cucurbita fraterna

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Cucurbita fraterna
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Cucurbitales
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Cucurbita
Species: C. fraterna
Binomial name
Cucurbita fraterna

Cucurbita fraterna, also known as Cucurbita pepo subsp. fraterna, is a mesophyte plant species of the genus Cucurbita.[3][4][1] It is native to Tamaulipas and Nuevo León, Mexico. It has not been domesticated.[4] It is the progenitor and nearest relative of the domesticated species Cucurbita pepo and wild C. pepo is still found in the same areas as C. fraterna. It was formally described by Liberty Hyde Bailey in 1943, in Gentes Herbarum.[3]

Unlike most wild Cucurbita, some fruit specimens of C. fraterna have been found that were not bitter. Its usual habitat is dry upland scrub areas. It blooms in September and fruits ripen in December.[4]

The debate about the relationship of C. pepo, C. fraterna, and C. texana have been going on since at least 1857.[5] C. pepo has more similarities to C. fraterna than it does to Cucurbita texana which is also claimed to be an ancestor of C. pepo. Their isozymes are very similar. C. fraterna shares alleles with C. pepo at all 25 studied loci, indicating C. fraterna is C. pepo's nearest relative.[6] C. pepo is most likely an early domesticated form of C. fraterna. It crosses well with both C. pepo and C. texana. C. pepo could be a compilospecies of C. fraterna and C. texana, which appear to be two species that were originally separate.[6][7][8] Based on genetic allele analysis, there are two distinct groups within C. pepo: pumpkin, calabaza, criolla, and marrow squash are in one, and ornamental gourds, crookneck squash, acorn squash, pattypan squash, and a few others are in the other. C. fraterna is genetically closer to the first group and C. texana is genetically closer to the second group.[9][10]


  1. ^ a b "Cucurbita fraterna". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Cucurbita fraterna L.H.Bailey". International Plant Names Index. 2005. Retrieved September 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Bailey, Liberty Hyde (1943). "Species of Cucurbita". Gentes Herbarum. Ithaca, NY. 6: 267–322. 
  4. ^ a b c Nee, Michael (1990). "The Domestication of Cucurbita (Cucurbitaceae)". Economic Botany. New York: New York Botanical Gardens Press. 44 (3, Supplement: New Perspectives on the Origin and Evolution of New World Domesticated Plants): 56–68. JSTOR 4255271. 
  5. ^ Kirkpatrick, Kurt J.; Wilson, Hugh D. (1988). "Interspecific Gene Flow in Cucurbita: C. texana vs. C. pepo". American Journal of Botany. Botanical Society of America. 75 (4): 519–527. doi:10.2307/2444217. 
  6. ^ a b Andres, Thomas C. (1987). "Cucurbita fraterna, the Closest Wild Relative and Progenitor of C. pepo". Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University. 10: 69–71. 
  7. ^ Singh, Ram J. Plant Cytogenetics (2 ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-8493-2388-1. 
  8. ^ Sanjur, Oris I.; Piperno, Dolores R.; Andres, Thomas C.; Wessel-Beaver, Linda (2002). "Phylogenetic Relationships among Domesticated and Wild Species of Cucurbita (Cucurbitaceae) Inferred from a Mitochondrial Gene: Implications for Crop Plant Evolution and Areas of Origin" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences. 99 (1): 535–540. Bibcode:2002PNAS...99..535S. doi:10.1073/pnas.012577299. JSTOR 3057572. PMC 117595Freely accessible. PMID 11782554. 
  9. ^ Soltis, Douglas E.; Soltis, Pamela S. Isozymes in Plant Biology. London: Dioscorodes Press. p. 176. ISBN 0-412-36500-6. 
  10. ^ Smith, Bruce D. (1992). Rivers of Change: Essays on Early Agriculture in Eastern North America. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press. pp. 71–73. ISBN 978-0-8173-5425-1. 

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