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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1143: VII International Symposium on Edible Alliaceae

Wild populations of Allium roseum L. (Alliaceae) in Tunisia: germination strategies, genetic diversity and morpho-phenological variability

Author:   M. Neffati
Keywords:   spontaneous, phenotypic, life cycle, accessions, reproductive vigor descriptors, genetic variability
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1143.14
A. roseum L. is a species with a typical Mediterranean distribution and includes different intraspecific taxa. A. roseum, a polymorphic species, is represented in North Africa by 12 different taxa: 4 varieties, 4 subvarieties and 4 forms. In Tunisia, only three varieties are represented: var. grandiflorum, var. perrotii and var. odoratissimum. The last variety is considered as an endemic taxon in North Africa. This taxon is used since ancient times as a vegetable, spice and herbal remedy. Today its edible aerial parts are widely harvested and sold commercially. The fresh young leaves and bulbs of A. roseum, are consumed in salads and used as spice to prepare traditional recipes. Besides its culinary use, it is also used in folk medicine. However, it is seriously threatened because of over-collection and use of bulbs. The selection of suitable plant material and the propagation of rosy garlic plants in the nursery constitute the first step to improve natural populations. Since 1997, agronomic and morphological characterization of Tunisian A. roseum material has been conducted in the southern Tunisian area where a reference collection of this species was planted, near the Arid Lands Research Institute (IRA Medenine, Tunisia). The present work has been dedicated to assess the phenotypic diversity and the germination strategies of several populations of A. roseum from different bioclimatic zones in Tunisia. In this study we recapitulate the results of studies on the phenotypic, germination, genetic and inter specific variability of this wild species in its distribution area in Tunisia using several reproductive vigor descriptors. Based on these results we will be able to valorize this species and select the effective genotypes which can be cultivated on a wide scale.

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