Survey of hazelnut germplasm (Corylus avellana L.) in central-south and southern Chile

M. Ellena, A. González, P. Sandoval, F. Marchant
Central south and southern Chile are important growing areas of old hazelnut material introduced by European immigrants about 124 years ago from several countries including Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain; and planted in gardens, orchards and as isolated trees. During the years 2016-2017 a survey of old material introduced from Europe started to be developed in collaboration with INIA and local growers. Its aim was to study this resource, to preserve the genetic diversity and to plan future uses for genetic improvement. In this survey a total of 296 trees were identified from the Maule region (central-south of Chile) to the Los Lagos region (southern Chile). In May, 2016 and April, 2017, selected material was introduced at INIA-Carillanca a collection for its preservation and agronomic and commercial characterization (20 best individuals). This study determined some nut and kernel characteristics of the hazelnut germplasm in central-south and southern Chile. The top 20 selections were evaluated for large caliber for in-shell market (10 selections) and percent kernel for industrial use (10 selections). The selections mainly presented two types of nut shapes: round and long. With regard to materials selected for the in-shell market (10 selections), 60% presented globular shape, 20% short subcylindrical shape and 20% ovoid shape. On the other hand, the materials selected by kernel percentage presented the following shapes: long subcylindrical (50%), globular (20%), ovoid (20%) and short subcylindrical (10%). Concerning the kernel/nut ratio, most of the hazelnut material selected for industrial use (10 selections) presented values higher than 50%. These results indicate that nuts presented a thin shell thickness and the kernel filled up the nut. On the other hand, 20% of selections presented a percent kernel of about 49 and 50%. Regarding the nut size (selection for in-shell market), 10% had a very large nut and 90% was large. Fatty acid analysis of the top 20 selections was carried out. The main fatty acids identified were oleic, linoleic, palmitic and stearic acid, the latter two in smaller quantities. Molecular markers (SSR) analysis were performed to avoid synonymy and homonymy.
Ellena, M., González, A., Sandoval, P. and Marchant, F. (2018). Survey of hazelnut germplasm (Corylus avellana L.) in central-south and southern Chile. Acta Hortic. 1226, 65-72
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1226.9
genetic diversity, germplasm, prospections, immigrants, Corylus avellana L

Acta Horticulturae