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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 728: V International Congress on Cactus Pear and Cochineal

CHARACTERIZATION OF SEEDLINGS OBTAINED FROM OPEN POLLINATED ´GIALLA´ CACTUS PEAR (OPUNTIA FICUS-INDICA)

Authors:   G. Nieddu, I. Chessa, A. Barberis
Keywords:   cactus pear, characterization, selection
Abstract:
A population of approximately 700 cactus pear seedlings of different ages obtained from ripe seeds of open pollinated 'Gialla' (selection GSH), was studied in Sardinia, Italy. A dataset of morphological characters of seedlings and mother plant according to the Cactus Pear Descriptor List was completed. Most seedlings showed high vigor as compared to mother plants. Both populations showed elliptic cladodes. Thirteen individuals bearing fruits with less than 200 seeds/fruit were found among seedlings. Large differences between populations were found in regard to ripening season. Selection allowed identification of seedlings with interesting horticultural traits; early ripening, large fruits, and high percentage of aborted seeds. The selected seedlings will be further evaluated as basic genetic material to develop new varieties specific for the Mediterranean area.
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