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Genetic variation for assimilate accumulation and translocation in Cynara spp

Raccuia, S.A., Mellili, M.G.
Acta horticulturae 2004 no.660 pp. 241-248
Cynara cardunculus, aboveground biomass, artichokes, cardoons, dry matter accumulation, experimental design, genetic variation, genotype, roots, summer
Cynara cardunculus L. is a perennial species, with the autumnal-spring growth cycle and summer quiescence period. It comprises three taxa: C. cardunculus L. subsp. scolymus (L.) Hegi (globe artichoke), C. cardunculus L. var. altilis DC (cultivated cardoon) and C. cardunculus L. var. sylvestris Lam. (wild cardoon). In C. cardunculus the roots play an important role for assimilate accumulation and translocation, in fact they represent the reserve organ of the plant, especially during the summer when the aboveground biomass gets dry. Few information are available about the trend in assimilate accumulation and translocation among the three C. cardunculus taxa. This work aiming to study the genetic variation for dry matter accumulation and translocation in C. cardunculus taxa. To reach the aim of this work, during 2001-2002 growth season, at Catania location, in an experimental design with three replications one globe artichoke, one cultivated cardoon and one wild cardoon were grown. During the biological cycle ten harvests of three plants, for each genotype and replication, were carried out. Corresponding to each harvest in the fields total fresh biomass, was weighted. In laboratory the dry matter (DM) content for each part of biomass was evaluated. The obtained results showed the importance of root as plant reserve organ in all the studied genotypes. In particular, on average of all genotypes, during the first phase of head formation, the roots showed an incidence of 61% on total dry matter, and it reached the 52% at the end of the crop cycle.