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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1247: IX International Congress on Cactus Pear and Cochineal: CAM Crops for a Hotter and Drier World

Evaluation of morphological and chemical characteristics of spineless cactus pears under the environmental conditions of Qatar

Authors:   H.M. Al Wawi, M.S. Al Yafei, M. Al Marri, M. Louhaichi, A. Ouled Belgacem
Keywords:   spineless cactus, cladodes, chemical composition, Qatar
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1247.1
Abstract:
The present study was conducted to evaluate 38 spineless cactus pear accessions (Opuntia ficus-indica) introduced to the research station of Rodhat Al Faras in Qatar. These accessions were planted and assessed for their morphological properties (growth, shape and color of the cladodes, etc.) and chemical composition (contents of protein and minerals) during two growing seasons (2011-2013). Results showed highly significant differences between the studied accessions in all morphological parameters. The number of cladodes was 29.4 per plant on average and their mean length, width and thickness were about 36.3, 18.3, and 0.8 cm, respectively. Statistical analysis also showed large significant differences at the level of cladode chemical composition, with the exception of calcium and phosphorus (P>0.05). This study recommends the selection of cactus pear accessions that combine plants with high productivity and quality. The Tunisian accessions showed the best reproductive and productive performance, and would be recommended for dissemination on a large scale in private farms. There is a need to continue monitoring the performances of these accessions in research stations and farmersRSQUO fields.

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