Characterization of drought response and nutraceutical value in Mediterranean almond cultivars
Almond is an important fruit crop species worldwide cultivated for its appreciate kernel for both processed food industry and as a functional food with and medical (nutraceutical) properties including nutrients, vitamins, healthy blood lipids or anti-inflammatory and hypocholesterolemic properties. This fruit tree species, compared to other nut crops grown in Mediterranean climates, is relatively drought resistant. Climatic conditions, in particular climate variability and water availability, require the development of production systems able to cope with risk and uncertainty. Therefore, rusticity and flexibility of the different components of the production systems (including varieties) should be improved together with a suitable kernel quality including nutraceutical values. A new experiment using wild relatives and commercial genotypes was used to understand drought response in almond. In addition, a characterization of drought resistant almond cultivars from the Mediterranean Sea (Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria) with high nutraceutical values has been carried out. These studies allowed the preliminary identification of several drought-resistant cultivars and ecotypes. In addition, the evaluation of nutraceutical properties (lipid and fatty acid contents, vitamins, phytosterol content, minerals, protein and aminoacids, phenols and fiber) can result in an added value of these cultivars. A better understanding of the physiological mechanisms associated with drought resistance in almond cultivars will be achieved.
Martínez-García, P.J., Pérez de los Cobos, F., Carrasco-Cuello, F., Kodad, O., Gouta, H., EnNahli, S., Ayachi, M., Bchir, A., Laaribi, I., Bahouli, F., Dicenta, F., Rubio, M. and Martínez-Gómez, P. (2021). Characterization of drought response and nutraceutical value in Mediterranean almond cultivars. Acta Hortic. 1307, 431-434
drought tolerance, fruit quality, almond, genetic resources