Almond (Prunus amygdalus Batsch.) blooming date is determined by the temperatures during the dormancy period, from the onset of endodormancy to just before blooming. In this work we have developed a model, based on several years data, to estimate the mean transition date from endodormancy to ecodormancy in 44 almond cultivars covering the whole range of almond bloom, through the significance of correlation coefficients between the temperatures occurring during dormancy and the date of full bloom. The estimation of this date for each cultivar has allowed the calculation of its chill and heat requirements. It was found that most cultivars have chilling requirements between 400 and 600 chill units, whereas the span of heat requirements was wider, from 5500 to 9300 growing degree hours Celsius. Some cultivars show high chilling requirements and low heat requirements whereas others show opposite requirements. These differences confirm the wide almond adaptability to different climatic conditions and offer the possibility of being utilized in breeding programs. The good fit shown by the application of this model in the prediction of bloom time may sustain its application in chilling and heat requirement estimation in other fruit species if blooming dates and climatic data for several years are available.
J.M. Alonso, J.M. Ansón, M.T. Espiau and R. Socias i Company
Ossama Kodad, José M. Alonso, María T. Espiau, Gloria Estopañán, Teresa Juan and Rafel Socias i Company
The oil content and the percentage of the main fatty acids were determined in a set of 73 almond (Prunus amygdalus Batsch) cultivars from 10 different countries present at the almond germplasm collection of the Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón, Spain (CITA). Wide variability was observed for oil content, ranging from 51.5% to 66.8% on a dry weight (DW) basis. For the main fatty acids in the lipid fraction, the variability ranged from 62.9% to 77.3% for oleic acid, from 14.0% to 26.8% for linoleic acid, from 4.9% to 7.0% for palmitic acid, from 1.5% to 3.4% for stearic acid, and from 0.3% to 0.6% for palmitoleic acid. No correlations were found between the oil content and the percentages of the different fatty acids, but a significant negative correlation was found between the percentages of oleic and linoleic acids. Principal component (PC) analysis showed that palmitic, oleic, and linoleic acids and the oleic acid/linoleic acid ratio were primarily responsible for the separation on principal component 1. The content of each component was not related to the country of origin of the different cultivars, indicating that almond fatty acid composition is genotype-dependent. Cultivars with high and stable oil content and low linoleic acid should be selected as parents in a breeding program to increase kernel oil stability and nutritional value.
Àngel Fernández i Martí, José M. Alonso, María T. Espiau, María J. Rubio-Cabetas and Rafel Socias i Company
Genetic diversity of the Spanish national almond (Prunus amygdalus Batsch) collection was characterized with 19 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers selected because of their polymorphism in almond and other Prunus L. species. A total of 93 almond genotypes, including 63 Spanish cultivars from different growing regions, as well as some international cultivars and breeding releases were analyzed. All primers produced a successful amplification, giving a total of 323 fragments in the genotypes studied, with an average of 17 alleles per SSR, ranging from 4 (EPDCU5100) to 33 (BPPCT038). Allele size ranged from 88 bp at locus PMS40 to 260 bp at locus CPPCT022. The heterozygosity observed (0.72) was much higher not only than in other Prunus species, but also than in other almond pools already studied. The dendrogram generated using the variability observed classified most of the genotypes according to their geographical origin, confirming the particular evolution of different almond ecotypes. The SSR markers have consequently shown their usefulness for cultivar identification in almond, for establishing the genetic closeness among its cultivars, and for establishing genealogical relationships.