Scientists at Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) and the National Engineering
Research Center for Vegetables in Beijing, China have sequenced the genomes
of two important pumpkin species, Cucurbita maxima and C. moschata.
The research team sequenced the two pumpkin species to better understand
their contrasting desirable traits: C. moschata is known for its resistance
to disease and other stresses, such as extreme temperatures, while C. maxima
is better known for its fruit quality and nutrition. The hybrid of these two
species called "Shintosa" has even greater stress tolerance than C.
moschata, and is often used as a rootstock for other cucurbit crops.
The sequencing project also revealed an interesting evolutionary history for
Cucurbita species. When the researchers compared the Cucurbita genome
sequences to those of other cucurbits, they discovered that the pumpkin
genome is actually a combination of two ancient genomes, making it a