Almond Genetic Resources in Greece- Effects of Genotype and Environment on Mineral nutrient and Protein contents in Almond in the SAFENUT project DROGOUDI P. 1 , PANTELIDIS G. 1 , METZIDAKIS I. 2 , BACCHETTA, L. 3 , DUVAL H. 4 , SPERA D. 5 1 Pomology Institute, National Agricultural Research Foundation ( NAGREF), Naoussa, Greece 2 Institute for Olive Tree and Subtropical Plants, N.AG.RE.F., Chania , Greece. 3 Ente per le Nuove Tecnologie (ENEA), l’Energia e l’Ambiente , Casaccia, Rome, Italy. 4 Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA ) , GAFL Avignon, Montfavet, France. 5 Consorzio di Ricerche Applicate alla Biotecnologia (CRAB), Italy.
<ul><li>The cultivation of the almond tree is a traditional practice that dates back more than 2.5 thousand years ago in Greece. The first part of its latin name “ Amygdalus ” initiates from the verb amisso, which stands for scratch, scrape. </li></ul>
Source: Hellenic Statistical Authority <ul><li>The almond cultivation reached a maximum of 31080 hectares in 1987, and since then it has been reduced to 16675 ha in 2007. </li></ul>
The epicentres of Greek almond production are the prefectures of Larissa ( 3605 ha ), Magnesia (2963 ha), Serres (2003 ha) and Kavala (1518 ha).
<ul><li>Greece is the 7 th largest producer of almonds in the world after United States, Spain, Italy, Iran, Morocco and Tunisia, and its production is consumed internally (FAO stats for 2004-2007). </li></ul><ul><li>Imports of almonds are increasing and it is unlikely that the Greek almond consumption would increase. </li></ul><ul><li>Greeks rank first in nut consumption among other developed counties (for example the consumption is 11, 6, 3 and 3 Kg /capita /year for Greece, Italy, France and USA, respectively, FAO stats for 2003). </li></ul>Economical data
<ul><li>Orchard management </li></ul><ul><li>Nowadays new orchards are modern, irrigated and positioned in plain and non frost areas. </li></ul><ul><li>The most widely grown cultivars are Ferragnes and Texas. Less widely cultivated is the soft shelled Greek cultivar Retsou, while new plantations are being made with the cultivar Raptopoulou. </li></ul><ul><li>The rootstocks used are seedlings or the hybrid peach-almond GF677. </li></ul><ul><li>Orchards have relatively small size (lower than 20 stremmata / grower). </li></ul><ul><li>Almond production is highly depended on spring frosts. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Actions taking place in the context of the SAFENUT project </li></ul>Morphological characterisation was made on 24 almond genotypes, which were kept at the Pomology Institute core collection (7 accessions) or sampled from farms in the prefectures of Kozani (4 accessions), Katherini (1 accession), the islands Limnos (6 accessions), Chios (1 accession) and Grete (10 accessions)
<ul><li>In Grete, few commercial almond plantations were detected, while spontaneous trees were found, mainly in mountainous areas and many of them among olive trees. A similar situation was found at the island Limnos, where many almond orchards had been abandoned. Nevertheless, the existence of a huge gene bank of almond was realized, since many different genotypes were found. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Actions taking place in the context of the SAFENUT project </li></ul><ul><li>Samples were sent for molecular characterization. </li></ul><ul><li>Samples were sent to CRAB for tocopherol, lipid content and fatty acid characterisation. </li></ul><ul><li>Mineral nutrient and protein content analyses were made at the Pomology Institute. </li></ul>
Effects of genotype and environment on mineral nutrient and protein contents Potasium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein contents were analysed in different almond accessions from France, Greece and Italy, during 2008-2009 Number of almond accessions on which analyses of Mineral nutrient and Protein contents were made during 2008-2009 30 accessions were analysed during both years, and 42 accessions were analysed only one year from
The potassium content varied 2.7 times, ranging from 465 to 1235 mg 100-1 g DW, Greatest values found in cultivars Ferrante > Babatsiko > Laurance, Ferragnes.
The calcium content varied 4.1 times, ranging from 160.1 to 662.8 mg 100-1 g DW. Highest values (810 – 828 mg 100 g -1 ) were found in: Laurence > Ferragnes, Kandanos 3, Athalia
Highest values were found in: Laurance > Babatsiko The magnesium content varied 2.1 times, ranging from 159.2 to 333.2 mg 100-1 g DW.
Highest values were found in: Laurance, Babatsiko, Bellou and Ferrante The phosphorus content varied 2.4 times, ranging from 309.9 to 748.1 mg 100-1 g DW.
Highest values (211 mg 100 g -1 ) were found in: Ferrante and Temen 1 . The protein content varied 3.0 times, ranging from 11.6 to 34.3 mg 100-1 g DW.
<ul><li>To understand more fully the contribution of the individual mineral nutrient and protein to the variation observed, principal component analysis (PCA) was carried out to mean values of measured traits on 30 almond cultivars, which were analysed in 4 different locations (INRA- France, PI and ISPOT- Greece and Italy), during 2008 and 2009 . </li></ul><ul><li>This method allows us to highlight similarities and differences between groupings of samples. </li></ul>
Samples were clearly separated based on the content of mineral nutrient and protein content in three groups. Samples from France had high phosphorus, magnesium and calcium content and from Greece had high calcium content.
Although there was not a clear separation between harvesting years, a trend of higher calcium contents was found in year 2009, compared to 2008
<ul><li>With regard to dissemination on SAFENUT results </li></ul><ul><li>An exhibition on almond cultivars and presentation of SAFENUT results was made during the Almond exhibition in Sykourio Larissas (Sept 2009). </li></ul><ul><li>An oral presentation with the title “ Almond cultivation in Europe- Results from the European Project SAFENUT ”, will be made in Sykourio Larissas (Sep 2010). </li></ul>
<ul><li>Dissemination of SAFENUT results </li></ul><ul><li>The 24 th conference of the Greek Society for Horticultural Sciences, 20-23 October 2009, Veria, Greece. Presented a poster on the SAFENUT activities </li></ul><ul><li>The 12th conference of the Hellenic Scientific Society for Genetics and Plant Breeding (H.S.S.G.P.B.), which was held 8-10 October 2008, in Naoussa, Greece. Presented a poster on the SAFENUT activities </li></ul><ul><li>The activities of the SAFENUT project were presented in students of the Technological Educational Institute in Thessaloniki, School of Agricultural Technology by Dr. Pavlina Drogoudi. </li></ul>
<ul><li>With regard to traditional knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>A s tudent and parent Questionnaire was made in a secondary school in Larissa and in Grete. </li></ul><ul><li>Questionnaire on almond growers was also made in Magnisia. </li></ul>Traditional uses Almonds are consumed fresh, but mostly are used for delicious confectionary such as melomakarona, kourampiedes , baklava, halva, almond pie, chocolates etc. Special confectionary can also be found in Greek islands such as amygdalota in Sifnos (see photo), and bianketa (almond and tangerine bites) in Corfu. Moreover, for Greeks, almonds are a potent fertility symbol and no wedding would be complete without sugar-candied almonds or ‘koufeta’, which are often placed on a ceremonial tray along with the bride and groom’s wedding wreaths.
<ul><li>Thank you for your attention </li></ul>