© Daria Chrobok, DC SciArt

Crop: Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)
Property: Formation of female flowers

Cucumbers naturally exhibit male and female flowers on the same plant. Since only the female flowers produce fruit, growers have been trying for some time to increase the proportion of female flowers on a plant. As this has already been achieved, it is now possible to buy "mixed flowering", "predominantly female flowering" or "purely female flowering" cucumber varieties. The advantage of plants with purely female flowers is that they produce fruit without pollination and each flower produces a fruit, which can increase yield. Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have succeeded in inducing a mutation in the cucumber genome using the CRISPR/Cas technique. The plants produced in this way showed seven times as many female flowers as the control plants. This approach may become interesting in the future to increase yield in mixed flowering cucumber varieties with otherwise beneficial traits.


TitleEngineering Non-transgenic Gynoecious Cucumber Using an Improved Transformation Protocol and Optimized CRISPR/Cas9 System
AuthorsBowen Hu et al.
JournalMolecular Plant