|Authors: ||J.A. Portela, S. Lanzavechia, A.M. Lopez, J.L. Burba|
|Keywords: ||Allium sativum, climatic adaptation, biomass accumulation, earliness, clones, ecophysiology|
At the beginning of the 1990s, in an attempt to sort, in a practical and comprehensive way, the garlic varietal outlook of Argentina, a first Argentinean classification was proposed.
Considering the natural dormancy length as main sorting criterion and applying the concept of VIDO (visual index of dormancy overcome) as a practical tool to efficiently determine the end of dormancy, four ecophysiological groups were defined for garlic cultivars grown around the country by those days.
However, after twenty years of varietal improvement, mainly mobilized by institutional programs of clonal selection, as well as with the important advances on the ecophysiological knowledge of this specie, the original classification became somehow restricted and even conflictive in some of its basic concepts, so it would be necessary to update and optimize it.
The studies on compared growth of clonal cultivars in relation to the photothermal environment, carried out since the early 2000s at INTA Experiment Station La Consulta (Mendoza, Argentina; 33.7°S and 940 m a.s.l.), allowed a better understanding of nature behind the observed responses and explaining what would be the key differences among groups of cultivars; mainly within those adapted to temperate environments, which show the greatest variability.
From these knowledge, an improved ecophysiological classification for garlic cultivars is now proposed in Argentina, on the basis of: first, three kinds of climatic adaptations (tropical, subtropical, or temperate to cold-temperate environments), which, as in the previous classification, are defined by the length of the dormancy; second, two moments in the year in which cultivars adapted to temperate environments better perform their biomass accumulation (autumn-winter or spring); third, three subgroups for each of the two division of cultivars adapted to temperate environments, according to their different earliness for harvest.
A comprehensive discussion of this updated classification is being presented in the document.
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