CUCURBIT BREEDING FOR DIVERSIFICATION OF VEGETABLE CROPS IN NEW ZEALAND
Early breeding of cucurbits in New Zealand mainly involved the reselection of 'crown' types and later the hybridization of these types by farmers, seedsmen and Crop Research Division (CRD). Later breeding efforts included the development of grey bush types and since 1980 the major emphasis for CRD has been breeding buttercup hybrids with extended storage life.
The extension of storage life of buttercup hybrids has been achieved using genetic material from the long storing Whangaparaoa Crown types. Hybrids which are currently being evaluated have improved storage, acceptable appearance, eating quality and with yields equivalent to standard buttercup cultivars.