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Group-author : R. Socias i Company

The Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias (INIA) has initiated in 1990 a Fruit Germplasm Project. The diversity of climates in Spain has made recommendable to scatter the different basic collections in different places, taking as a starting point the collections already existing at the different regional research centers across Spain. The species included in the Project are: almond, apple, apricot, banana, cherimoya, cherry, grape, hazelnut, mango, olive, peach, pear, prune and walnut. Details on these collections, their curators and the locations will be presented on the poster.

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A.J. Felipe

Group-author : R. Socias i Company

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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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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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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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J.M. Alonso, J.M. Ansón, M.T. Espiau and R. Socias i Company

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.