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Genetic and environmental influence on inulin yield in wild cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L. var. sylvestris Lam.)

Raccuia, S.A., Melilli, M.G., Tringali, S.
Acta horticulturae 2004 no.660 pp. 47-53
Cynara cardunculus, biomass, cardoons, genotype-environment interaction, glucose, inulin, roots, sugar content
Inulin is a polymeric carbohydrate consisting of β-(2 to1) linked fructofuranosyl moieties with a terminal glucose, which makes it widely suitable for food and non food utilisation. In Cynara cardunculus L. var. sylvestris Lam. (wild cardoon) inulin is present both in heads and roots. This paper aiming to evaluate the influence of genotype and environment on inulin yield in wild cardoon Sicilian populations. To determine environmental effects on the root total sugar content, twelve wild cardoons were grown in 2000/01 season at two Sicilian locations (Catania and Enna) and analysed for their total biomass and root production and root total sugar content (HPAEC-PAD, Dionex). Results showed a great influence of the environment for biomass and root production and root total sugar content. At harvest, biomass and root production resulted, on average of all studied factors, 19.5 and 9.1 t ha(-1) DM, respectively. The total sugar content, on average of the studied factors, resulted 366 g kg(-1) DM (84% inulin), and it ranged from 307 to 464 g kg(-1) DM. On average of all populations it resulted 320 and 411 g kg(-1) DM at Catania and Enna respectively. The experimental results showed the potential of wild cardoon to produce biomass and roots, for inulin extraction.