NEW APRICOT VARIETIES SELECTED FROM THE TUNISIAN BREEDING PROGRAMME
Apricot improvement programmes were started in the 1930s at the INRAT (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique de Tunisie). Their main objective was the selection of early, mid-season and late cultivars. In addition to the selection programme for the local and introduced apricot cultivars, a breeding programme started in 1954 and allying the advantages of the local cultivars (early maturity and climatic adaptation) and of the introduced cultivars (self-compatibility, regularity of the production and industrial fruit quality) allowed, in 1970, the improvement of the Tunisian apricot cultivar assortment by the creation of five early cultivars (Jazil, Ouardi, Sayeb, Amal and Ezzine), which attain maturity a few days before Canino and produce fruit of exportable quality. Nevertheless, the selected local, introduced and hybrid cultivars have not allowed a continued production of apricot over a long period. Also, certain early cultivars, such as Amor Leuch, were not too appreciated and Canino was the only mid-season cultivar. To overcome these problems, a new breeding programme was started in 1974 to select new early and mid-season cultivars. After 20 years of work, six progenies, self-compatible with high fruit quality, were selected, two of which are the mid-early cultivars Asli and Raki (maturity: end of May), obtained by crossing two introduced cultivars (Patriarca temprano x Scréara), and four are the mid-season cultivars Atef, Meziane, Ouafir and Fakher (maturity: 8 June until 20 June), obtained by cross combinations with later-introduced, selected cultivars (Kasserine 1, Kasserine 2 and Kasserine 3) and three progenies (G36, Sayeb and Ouardi) obtained from combinations of Canino x Hamidi.
Lachkar, A. and Mlika, M. (2006). NEW APRICOT VARIETIES SELECTED FROM THE TUNISIAN BREEDING PROGRAMME. Acta Hortic. 717, 189-192
apricot, breeding, fruit quality, fruit maturity