Turkish research invests in late apricot varieties

Turkey is the leading apricot producer, growing approximately 20% (around 800 thousand tons) of the global production. The Malatya region produces over half the national production.

Blossoming usually starts around mid-March and lasts around 10 days. Harvesting is carried out between early June and late July depending on the variety. However, a few non-commercial cultivars ripen in August and early September. The fact that the harvesting period is short and that the fruit cannot be stored for more than 4-6 weeks affect production for the fresh market and consumption. For these reasons, developing late-ripening varieties to extend the season is of particular interest.

Researchers from the University of Inönü (Malatya, Turkey) have grown new apricot varieties that ripen late for this precise reason. 3718 hybrid genotypes were obtained from 42 crossbreeds. Phenological, pomological and yield analyses were carried out. In addition, development variations, grades, Brix, overall acidity, yields and other aspects were also assessed. In general, the development period varies between 148 and 167 days, while the fruits weigh between 25.2 ad 41.2 grams. Brix levels vary between 16.3 and 22.6% and total acidity ranges from 0.56 and 1.25%.

"To reach these objectives, we employed a traditional growing programme. We wanted to obtain late-ripening cultivars with large good-quality fruits. We selected 7 mid-ripening period varieties and crossed them with a female parent with 3 late-ripening varieties and reasonable yields. We then identified 12 hybrid genotypes that ripen late with good-excellent yields," explained researchers.

Source: Cross J.M., Karaat F.E., Inceoglu F., Murathan Z.T., Asma B.M., 'New late ripening apricot genotypes from a multipurpose apricot breeding programme in Turkey', 2018, Czech Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Vol. 54, pag. 34-38.

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