Genetic variability in Cucumis sativus var. hardwickii R. (Alef.) germplasm.
Thirty-one accessions of a wild and feral form of cucumber Cucumis sativus var. hardwickii collected from different regions of India were evaluated for days to first fruit set and first picking, fruit weight, fruits per plant, fruit length:diameter (L:D ratio), and yield per plant. Highly significant variation was observed among the genotypes for all the characters studied. Mean fruit weight of C. sativus var. hardwickii was 57.3 g with a range of 33.0 to 99.1 g. Mean fruit number per plant was 18.7 with a range of 11.0 to 27.9 and the mean fruit yield per plant was 1010.9 g with a range of 663.7 to 1839.3 g. All the fruits were highly bitter in taste. The highest genotypic coefficient of variation was found for fruit weight (28.2) followed by fruits per plant (25.5), indicating the high selection response in respect of these traits. High genetic advance coupled with high heritability was obtained for fruit weight (56.5%, 94.5%), fruits per plant (47.4%, 81.4%), hence individual plant selection could be effective for isolation of superior genotypes for these traits. Since, there is no report on the genetic parameters of wild cucumber; the investigation highlighted the potential utilization of these germplasms for future breeding programmes.