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Álvaro Fernández-Cuesta, Ossama Kodad, Rafel Socias i Company, and Leonardo Velasco

fatty acid composition in almond ( Prunus amygdalus Batsch) and its relationship with kernel quality J. Agr. Food Chem. 56 4096 4101 Kodad, O. Socias i Company, R. Prats, M.S. López-Ortiz, M.C. 2006 Variability in tocopherol concentrations in almond oil

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Ossama Kodad, José M. Alonso, María T. Espiau, Gloria Estopañán, Teresa Juan, and Rafel Socias i Company

Kodad, O. Socias i Company, R. 2008 Variability of oil content and of major fatty acid composition in almond ( Prunus amygdalus Batsch) and its relationship with kernel quality J. Agr. Food Chem. 56 4096 4101 Kodad, O. Socias i Company, R. Gracia Gómez

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J.L. Espada and A.J. Felipe

Group-author : R. Socias i Company

Low levels of fruit set were measured in a commercial almond [Prunus amygdalus Batsch, syn. Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb] orchard during 3 years. Low sets may be attributed mostly to orchard design, as cultivars are distributed in contiguous rows where pollen interchange among different cultivars is not facilitated. An appropriate orchard design and proper bee management are essential for commercial yields in self-incompatible almond cultivars.

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P. Martínez-Gómez, S. Arulsekar, D. Potter, and T.M. Gradziel

The genetic relationships among peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch], almond [P. dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb or P. amygdalus (L.) Batsch] and 10 related Prunus species within the subgenus Amygdalus were investigated using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. P. glandulosa Pall. was included as an outgroup. Polymorphic alleles were scored as present or absent for each accession. The number of alleles revealed by the SSR analysis in peach and almond cultivars ranged from one to three whereas related Prunus species showed a range of one to 10 alleles. Results demonstrated an extensive genetic variability within this readily intercrossed germplasm as well as the value of SSR markers developed in one species of Prunus for the characterization of related species. Mean character difference distances were calculated for all pairwise comparisons and were used to construct an unrooted dendogram depicting the phenetic relationships among species. Four main groups were distinguished. Peach cultivars clustered with accessions of P. davidiana (Carr.) Franch. and P. mira Koehne. The second group contained almond cultivars. A third group included accessions of P. argentea (Lam) Rehd., P. bucharica Korschinsky, P. kuramica Korschinsky, P. pedunculata Pall, P. petunikowii Lits., P. tangutica (Spach) Batal., and P. webbii (Spach) Vieh.. P. glandulosa and P. scoparia Batal. were included in a fourth group.

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A. Godini, L. de Palma, and M. Palasciano

A study to ascertain the highest possible fruit set following self-pollination of eight self-compatible cultivars of almond (Amygdalus communis L. = Prunus dulcis Mill) was carried out in Apulia (southern Italy). Fruits set from daily hand-selling were high, compared to those from unassisted self-pollination. The results support growing most of the self-compatible Apulian almonds in solid blocks, without need for cross-pollination, provided that self-pollination is optimized by insect vectors. The relative capability of the cultivars to set fruits by unassisted self-pollination was independent of the reciprocal stigma/anthers position within the same flower.

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D. Bernad

Group-author : R. Socias i Company

Bloom evolution and flower quality were studied in 10 almond [Prunus amygdalus Batsch syn. P. dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb] selections of the Zaragoza breeding program. The opening of individual flowers followed a normal distribution, with deviations reflecting temperature differences during the bloom period. The first open flowers are of better quality than later ones and may contribute more to fruit set. The relative stigma–anther position reflected the possibility of natural autogamy in three of the 10 selections. Natural autogamy might allow single-cultivar orchards without the need for pollinating insects.

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Nachida Ben-Njima

Group-author : R. Socias i Company

Pollen tube growth was studied in 10 almond [Prunus amygdalus Batsch, syn. P. dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb] selections of the Zaragoza breeding program, whose main objective is the development of self-compatible cultivars. Self-compatibility was evident in eight of the selections, as indicated by the fact that pollen tube growth was similar following self- and cross-pollination. In the other two selections, pollen tube growth differed following self- and cross-pollination, one showing self-incompatibility and the other an irregular progression of crossed pollen tubes. The importance of the style in sustaining pollen tube growth was evident, and pollen tube growth was influenced by style type.

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Giorgio Bargioni, Giorgio Baroni, Pietro Tonutti, Andrea Pitacco, and Angelo Ramina

Effects of scion inclination on root growth and distribution were studied on INRA GF 677 (Prunus persica × Prunus amygdalus) and apple/M.9 trees. At planting, central leaders were positioned vertically (0°) or inclined 45° or 60° to the north and south. Three years after planting, root total dry weight of inclined trees was lower than that of the control (0°, vertical central leader). Five years after planting, the isotropic distribution of the normal root systems was distorted by inclination in both species. Roots were more numerous and more elongated in the direction of inclination. Statistical analysis of root density data, using a polar coordinate system, confirmed that the trunk inclination reduced root development and redirected root distribution. The major effect was induced on GF 677 by 60° inclinations. Tree orientation did not seem to influence root distribution.

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D.E. Kester, T.M. Gradziel, and W.C. Micke

Six cross-incompatibility groups, which contain most of commercially important California almond cultivars [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb, syn. Prunus amygdalus Batch], and their self-incompatibility (S) allele genotypes are identified. Incompatibility groups include `Mission' (SaSb), `Nonpareil' (ScSd), and the four groups resulting from the `Mission' × `Nonpareil' cross: (SaSc), (SaSd), (SbSc), and (SbSd), as represented by `Thompson', `Carmel', `Merced' and `Monterey', respectively. All seedlings from the `Mission' × `Nonpareil' cross were compatible with both parents, a result indicating that these two cultivars have no alleles in common. Crossing studies support a full-sib relationship for these progeny groups and the origin of both parents from common germplasm. Cultivars in these six groups account for ≈ 93% of present California production, a result demonstrating a limited genetic base for this vegetatively propagated tree crop.

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Maria L. Badenes and Dan E. Parfitt

Chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) mutations in 7 cultivated Prunus species were compared to establish the phylogenetic relationship among them. Mutations were detected in 3.2 kb and 1.5 kb regions of hypervariable cpDNA, amplified and cut with 21 and 10 restriction endonucleases, respectively, to reveal polymorphisms. Parsimony and cluster analyses were performed. Two groups of species, P. persica and P. dulcis and P. domestica and P. salicina were completely monophyletic. The subgenus Cerasus was the most recently derived, while the subgenus Amygdalus was the most ancestral and somewhat separate from the rest of Prunus. The results also suggest that the rate of mutation in the Cerasus chloroplast genome is significantly greater than for the other subgenera sampled.