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Maurizio Micheli, Daniel Fernandes da Silva, Daniela Farinelli, Graziana Agate, Rafael Pio and Franco Famiani

Shoots of the olive cultivar Moraiolo were previously cultured in aseptic conditions on Olive Medium (OM), with the addition of 4 mg·L−1 of zeatin, 30 g·L−1 of sucrose, and 7 g·L−1 of agar. Then, 1-cm long uninodal explants with two leaves and two axillary buds were excised from the proliferated masses and placed on the same proliferation medium enriched with four concentrations of neem oil (0—control, 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 mL·L−1), added before sterilization. The addition of 0.1 mL·L−1 of neem oil to the medium gave an improvement in shoot regeneration. More vigorous shoots (longer proliferated shoots) were obtained along with a higher number of nodes (multiplication rate). Overall, there was a significant increase in the total fresh and dry proliferated weights. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing a strong and beneficial effect of neem oil, used as a “complex mixture,” on in vitro plant regeneration.

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Givago Coutinho, Rafael Pio, Filipe Bittencourt Machado de Souza, Daniela da Hora Farias, Adriano Teodoro Bruzi and Paulo Henrique Sales Guimarães

Among the fruit species cultivated in subtropical climates, quince has productive cultivars with high horticultural potential. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the genetic divergence among quince cultivars through multivariate procedures and to identify cultivars for cultivation in the tropics through selection indices. Twenty-seven productive quince cultivars were grown in a location with a high-altitude tropical climate. The number of fruit, estimated yield, flowering period, number of buds, number of shoots, number of brindles per shoot, shoot length, average fruit weight, fruit length, and fruit diameter were measured. A multivariate principal component analysis (PCA) associated with the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic means (UPGMA) based on Gower distance and Pearson correlation coefficients was used to evaluate genetic divergence. Superior cultivars were defined by the selection index based on the rank summation index and the Z-index. UPGMA grouping indicated there was genetic variability among cultivars and showed that groups that were more dissimilar [e.g., the cultivars Bereckzy and Champion (distance = 0.69)] had the potential to be used in future stages of quince selection. The estimated yield, shoot length, fruit weight and diameter, and flowering period contributed to the maximum variability among quince cultivars. The selection indices identified cvs. Bereckzy, Alaranjado, and Alongado (30, 68, and 73 rank summation index, respectively) as superior, simultaneously considering the evaluated traits with greater potential for cultivation in the tropics.