Agro-phenological behaviour of several caprifigs grown in two different ecological areas in Tunisia
In Tunisia, the lack of adequate caprifig (male) tree for pollination of female figs is considered a major constraint for the development of fig sector. The present work focused on the characterization of eight local caprifig cultivars grown under coastal and continental conditions. Productivity in profichis and richness in pollen and fig wasp (Blastophaga psenes) were the major traits considered in this study. A large discrepancy characterized the maturation period of the profichis (from May 15 to July 5). Caprifigs differed by the abundance of different fruit generations (mammoni, mamme and profichi). The cultivars 'Assafri' and 'Jrani' yielded the highest profichi number per unit shoot length (6.32 and 5.71 profichis 20 cm-1, respectively). Otherwise, 'Assafri', 'Jrani', 'Djebba 1' and 'Djebba 2' produced the richest fruits in respect to pollen and Blastophaga numbers. About 450 fertile galls per syconium were counted in 'Assafri' versus 76 fertile galls in 'Djebba 3'. Fruit weight appeared to discriminate the cultivars 'Jrani' and 'Djebba 2' presenting the biggest fruits (32 and 29.5 g, respectively) from other cultivars. Ostiole opening, an important parameter facilitating Blastophaga mobility, ranged between 6.6 and 8.1 mm. 'Assafri' and 'Jrani' seemed to be the most suitable caprifigs that can be recommended for caprification in the center-east of Tunisia. 'Djebba 1' and 'Djebba 2' are found as the adequate pollinators for the edible fig trees growing in the north-west areas of the country.
Gaaliche, B., Zarrouk, I. and Mars, M. 2017. Agro-phenological behaviour of several caprifigs grown in two different ecological areas in Tunisia. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1173:149-156
Ficus carica, male tree, pollen, fig wasp, diversity, phenology