Genetic characterization of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) germplasm cultivated in Algeria

A. Akkak
Algeria is one of the leading date producers in the world, where approximately 2.2 millions of inhabitants are economically dependent upon them. Furthermore, dates production area covers more than 20% of the total surface used for Arboriculture. World date palm germplasm accounts for thousands of cultivars. Moreover, in recent investigations on Algerian date palm inventory, more than 940 cultivars have been reported. This high genetic variability is mainly due to the dioecious behavior of reproduction along with traditional farming system practiced particularly, in the Southwestern Algeria. In the last decade, we have developed hundreds of SSR loci for the identification of date cultivars in order to constitute the national database, with which aim to provide useful SSR markers for various applications particularly in the field of molecular breeding. The present research reports the characterization of the most important 40 cultivars grown in Algeria, assessed by microsatellite markers. The results indicate that these markers present a very effective tool for evaluating genetic diversity in date palm. They will certainly allow a better management of the genetic resources and eventually extent the present collection with new selective material for future breeding program. Cross-transferability in different species and genera were also evaluated.
Akkak, A. (2020). Genetic characterization of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) germplasm cultivated in Algeria. Acta Hortic. 1299, 421-424
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1299.63
SSR markers, germplasm, cross-transferability, genera

Acta Horticulturae