New original article on plant genetic resources

Posted on 2022-08-31

The purpose of this work was to morphologically characterize an apple tree collection composed of 67 individuals from 41 accessions belonging to 23 old Spanish apple cultivars (Malus domestica Borkh) alongside 9 reference cultivars. The studied germplasm was collected previously in rural areas of central Spain (Sierra Norte de Madrid and Tagus river basin) and it was analyzed through 67 descriptors mainly from IBPGR and UPOV. We found a very high morphological diversity in the studied old apple cultivars, as 48% of the descriptors (most of them devoted to fruit traits) were significantly different between types of cultivars. In addition, the sample cultivars resulted clearly distinct from reference cultivars in multivariate analysis. In general, no particular structure was found in old cultivars, but a strong differentiation of ‘Agridulce’ and ‘Hojancas’ is reported due to their bigger fruits. Our results support the molecular analysis and call for further analysis of the local apple germplasm and long-term conservation actions.

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