Faculty Publications and Presentations

Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Biology | Life Sciences


Poster Presentation given at the 9th International Conference on Creationism on July 17, 2023. Cedarville University, Cedarville, OH.


The gourds form a primarily tropical and subtropical family (Cucurbitales: Cucurbitaceae) of herbaceous climbers and woody lianas composed of approximately 960 species in 95 genera and 15 tribes. Many of these are globally important food crops and ornamentals including cucumbers, gourds, squashes, melons, pumpkins, and luffas. Utilizing published literature, there is evidence of interspecific hybridization (natural, experimental cross-pollination, and embryo/ovule culture) in five of the 15 tribes. These consist of successful crosses between 131 unique species pairs, including two intergeneric and one intertribal cross, forming eight monobaramins. In addition, species that do not hybridize directly, but hybridize with the same third species are added to the various monobaramins. This results in an additional 227 species pairs, including two intergeneric and two intertribal. A hybridogram, constructed from these direct and indirect hybridization results, reveals the following monobaramins: 1) 23 species from genus Cucumis; 2) 18 species from genus Cucurbita; 3) nine species from genus Luffa; 4) four species from genera Trichosanthes and Momordica (includes intertribal crosses); 5) three species from genus Citrullus; 6) two species from genus Lagenaria; 7) two species from genus Bryonia; and 8) two species from genera Coccinia and Diplocyclos. Next, using genetic distances (ITS regions of nuclear ribosomal RNA genes) from 26 cucurbit species, several monobaramins are enlarged and some are even connected by adding an additional 113 species pairs, including 82 intergeneric and 58 intertribal. A revised hybridogram, utilizing all of the above methods, reveals the following: 1) the original [Trichosanthes + Momordica] monobaramin connects to the original Luffa and Bryonia monobaramins as well as a new monobaramin, composed of the genera [Echinopepon + Cyclanthera + Sicyos + Ecballium], to form one large monobaramin consisting of 20 species from eight genera and three tribes (Sicyoeae, Bryonieae, and Momordiceae); 2) the original Citrullus monobaramin connects to a member of the genus Lagenaria and the resulting monobaramin is slightly larger with six species; 3) the original Cucumis monobaramin has additional internal continuity and may connect to the contribal [Coccinia + Diplocyclos] and [Citrullus + Lagenaria] monobaramins to form one large monobaramin consisting of 31 species from five genera in Tribe Benincaseae; 4) the original Cucurbita monobaramin connects to one additional species and has 19 species overall, all from genus Cucurbita and Tribe Cucurbiteae. Finally, the [Sicyoeae + Bryonieae + Momordiceae] monobaramin connects directly to both the Cucurbiteae and Benincaseae monobaramins. Connections between these last two tribes are also suggested by grafting and somatic hybridization experiments which are generally most successful between closely related species. In conclusion, these data suggest that members of all five tribes (70 species and 14 genera) may form one large monobaramin in the Family Cucurbitaceae. Additional research is required (hybridization, molecular, morphological) to determine the baraminological status of the family as a whole.

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