APRICOT BREEDING IN CASERTA: NEW PERSPECTIVES OF APRICOT GROWING IN SOUTHERN ITALY
Apricot culture in Italy is most successful in the South, which is characterised by mild, Mediterranean climates. This crop first spread in Campania, especially in the Vesuvian area, where over 3000 hectares of apricot are cultivated currently. The behaviour of the different cultivars is characterised by a particular pedo-climatic requirement that determines a scarce adaptability to the different areas of growing. For over fifteen years, the Istituto Sperimentale per la Frutticoltura of Caserta has operated an apricot breeding programme. Since 1986, nearly 7000 seedlings have been obtained, of which about 4000 have already been evaluated. Different seedlings were selected and propagated onto different rootstocks. Some early-ripening selections, such as Ischia and Procida, are already in an advanced phase and soon they will be able to be considered for cultivation, but a lot of others are interesting selections with novel characteristics. The most interesting selections could allow an extension and completion of the ripening calendar. Other selections possess interesting characteristics for specific processing products (dry fruit, canning, juice). Tests are in progress to determine the agronomic behaviour of these selections in different soil and climate conditions of Southern Italy.
Pennone, F. and Abbate, V. (2006). APRICOT BREEDING IN CASERTA: NEW PERSPECTIVES OF APRICOT GROWING IN SOUTHERN ITALY. Acta Hortic. 717, 157-162
apricot, breeding, selection, Southern Italy