American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture

Bitterness and Non-Bitterness in Cucumbers: A Story of Mutation (Student Edition)

by: Elizabeth Rice, Marianne Krasny, and Margaret Smith

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The bitterness of cucumbers is caused by a protein called cucurbitacin. The protein is found in the stems and leaves of many cucumber plants and this is why some people remove the skin and seeds before eating them. The objective of this activity is to use protein and genetic sequence data to evaluate the effect of different kinds of mutations, and to understand how mutation could have created a non-bitter gene in cucumbers.


Type Book ChapterPub Date 1/1/2006Stock # PB199XT_S2

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