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Selection of apricot rootstocks from local orchards using microsatellites

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Authors: P. Errea, J.I. Hormaza
Issue: 97V-2 (134-142)
Topic: Plant Production
Keywords: Apricot, molecular markers, microsatellites, Prunus, rootstocks, selection

Apricot cultivation in Aragón is seriously hampered by the different problems present in the currently available rootstocks for this species. Those problems involve adaptation to particular soil conditions and graft‑incompatibility with the most attractive apricot cultivars. The objective of this work was to select appropriate rootstocks far one of the most valued apricot cultivar, 'Moniquí'. Thus, an old local orchard of 'Moniquí' was prospected and selected rootstocks were propagated in vitro. Microsatellite analysis was carried out to establish the identity of the rootstocks selected. Molecular fingerprinting has allowed the grouping of the collected material into two main differentiated groups, slow‑ and fast‑ growing plums. Since some of the rootstocks pertaining to these two groups normally show many compatibility problems with 'Moniquí', the results obtained in this work indicate that probably some plum seedlings with good qualities to become interesting rootstocks for 'Moniquí' have been selected. This opens the way to recover local rootstock genotypes that have gone through an empirical selection process and, consequently, might allow an increase in the extension of apricot cultivation under our environmental conditions.

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