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  Fruits 74 (2) 55-64 | DOI: 10.17660/th2019/74.2.1
ISSN 0248-1294 print and 1625-967X online | © ISHS 2019 | Fruits, The International Journal of Tropical and Subtropical Horticulture | Original article

Characterization of local fig clones (Ficus carica L.) collected in Northern Morocco

L. Hssaini1,2, H. Hanine2, R. Razouk1, S. Ennahli3, A. Mekaoui1 and J. Charafi1,a
1 National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), P.O. Box 578, 50000, Regional Center of Meknes, Morocco
2 Laboratory of Bioprocess and Bio-Interfaces, Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, P.O. Box 523, Beni-Mellal, Morocco
3 National School of Agriculture, P.O. Box S/40, Meknes, 50001, Morocco

SUMMARY
Introduction – A survey of family yards and traditional orchards was conducted to collect and evaluate phenotypic variation of fig (Ficus carica L.) accessions grown in Northern Morocco. Materi­als and methods – 20 local farmers were surveyed to identify different fig accessions grown in three northern regions of Morocco (Taounate, Ouazzane, and Meknes). The survey targeted the varietal pro­file of cultivated fig trees, propagation methods and selection and denomination criteria. Fruit samples were collected, and their pomological and colorimetric traits were characterized. In total, 33 descriptors established by IPGRI were used, 22 of which were qualitative and 11 of which were quan­titative. Results and discussion – Pomologic and colo­rimetric analysis revealed a wide range of variation and highly significant level of variability (p < 0.05) among all sampled genotypes. The principal com­ponent analysis revealed two mean groups with a total inertia of 78.7% based on the quantitative traits. While three distinctive groups with a total inertia of 90.92% were found based on pomolog­ical traits. Pomology analysis exhibited a domi­nance of both globose and rounded shapes. Most of the genotypes have skin ribs and did not pres­ent the drop at the ostiole. Hierarchical ascendant classification (HAC) performed on all 38 variables (color and pomological descriptors) resulted in two main clusters. With the exception of ‘Ghoudan’ and ‘Ghani’, all genotypes with the same denomi­nations were clustered into the same group. Conclu­sion – This work revealed a mislabeling within the local fig germplasm according to morphological, pomological and colorimetric traits of collected figs. This problem was found to be correlated to de­nomination criteria used by local farmers. Indeed, the combination of pomological and colorimetric parameters exhibited an important level of dis­crimination.

Keywords germplasm characterization, fig diversity, fig denominations, skin color, survey

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

  • In Morocco, the cultivation of fig trees is of particular importance. However, the varietal diversity remains confusing and undocumented.
What are the new findings?
  • Moroccan figs have a polyclonal origin with large varietal confusion due to mislabeling problems that hinder the fig germplasm development.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
  • The findings are of importance for planning fig genetic resources inventory, preserving the existing genetic variability and establishing national collections.

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E-mail: jcharafi@gmail.com  

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Received: 26 November 2018 | Accepted: 15 March 2019 | Published: 23 April 2019 | Available online: 23 April 2019

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