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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 623: XXVI International Horticultural Congress: Plant Genetic Resources, The Fabric of Horticultures Future

PHENOTYPIC AND GENETIC CHARACTERIZATION OF CUCUMIS MELO L. LANDRACES COLLECTED IN APULIA (ITALY) AND ALBANIA

Authors:   L. Ricciardi, C. De Giovanni, P. Dell'Orco, C. Lotti, A.R. Marcotrigiano
Keywords:   Melon, germplasm, ecotypes, bio-agronomic traits, AFLP markers, cluster analysis
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2003.623.8
Abstract:
Melon is an important crop in Southern Italy where it is grown in open and covered fields. In the Apulian region, the botanical variety Inodorus (winter melon) is widely cultivated because of local and ancient traditions. It is harvested in August and stored until Christmas holidays. In addition there are some landraces (‘Carosello’ and ‘Barattiere’), whose fruits are eaten unripe, which are very important in relation to both their high diffusion on the markets because of good fruit quality and their high degree of tolerance to salt stress. In the present work, data on the main morpho-agronomic traits recorded on landrace accessions of Cucumis melo L. belonging to a collection established by an investigation carried out in Apulia and some regions of Albania, are reported. All the genetic material has also been characterized by means of AFLP markers with the aim to describe genetic variation that could be useful in future breeding programs and to discriminate local genotypes with similar names. The results obtained pointed out a large variation in the material analyzed and enabled us to identify interesting genotypes for breeding programs, particularly for the improvement of earliness, fruit shape, soluble solids content, storage and firmness of fruits. The AFLP markers, especially when determined by means of fluorescence detection, proved to be a highly efficient method for the genetic analysis of melons. The work has been also useful to increase the knowledge on ‘Barattiere’ and ‘Carosello’ genotypes that are becoming more and more demanded consumers in the Italian and European markets.

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