E. Bellini, E. Giordani
The study on evolution of persimmon cultivars in European countries is quite complex. Local varieties seem to have developed both as random seedlings and as bud mutations from imported genotypes. In Italy, some presumed local varieties belonging to the PVNA group have previously been described, including ‘Kaki Tipo’ which is of uncertain origin. In Spain, local varieties belong essentially to the PVA or PCA group; among them ‘Rojo Brillante’ is outstanding for its pomological traits. There is no report on local varieties in France, while in Greece persimmon cultivation is not intensive and propagation material is collected from astringent local varieties selected by farmers. At present, no description and inventory of local Greek accessions is available. In Portugal, the main local variety is ‘Coroa de Rei’ (astringent type). The cultivation of scattered trees in other Mediterranean countries (former Yugoslavia and Cyprus) may have allowed the development of local genotypes, but related information is very limited. Initiatives to safeguard persimmon genetic resources in the Mediterranean area are limited and the only example at European level has been the EC GENRES 29 Project on the “Conservation of minor fruit tree species”, carried out during 1996-99, which pointed out the necessity of surveying the areas expected to be rich in persimmon germplasm, identifying accessions both within and between collections also in relation to reference genotypes collected in Japan, introducing new genotypes to broaden genetic variability, and duplicating the genotypes conserved at present in a unique collection. Recent studies pointed out that among the 160 accessions conserved in Europe, the state of identification is weak since only 37% of accessions are surely identified, while 55% are probably identified and 8% are totally uncertain. Methods for cultivar identification and distinctness based on morphological traits and on Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA markers were applied on both local Italian and Spanish varieties which were considered synonyms. The varietal assortment in the European Mediterranean countries is very limited and production is based on ‘Kaki Tipo’ (PVNA) and ‘Rojo Brillante’ (PVA) in Italy and Spain, respectively. Breeding of persimmon started in 1971 in Italy; seedlings and advanced selections are under study.
Bellini, E. and Giordani, E. (2005). GERMPLASM AND BREEDING OF PERSIMMON IN EUROPE. Acta Hortic. 685, 65-74
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2005.685.6
Diospyros kaki L.f., accession, collection, cultivar, genetic resources

Acta Horticulturae