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Cynara cardunculus L.

genotypes as a crop for energy

purposes in a Mediterranean environment
Anita Ierna
*, Giovanni Mauromicale
Istituto per i Sistemi Agricoli e Forestali del Mediterraneo, CNR, Sezione di Catania, Str.le V. Lancia, Zona Industriale;
Blocco Palma I 95121 Catania, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze Agronomiche, Agrochimiche e delle Produzioni Animali, DACPA, Universita` degli Studi di Catania,
Via Valdisavoia 5, 95123 Catania, Italy
a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Received 23 June 2008
Received in revised form
8 January 2010
Accepted 11 January 2010
Cynara cardunculus
Rainfeed crop
Biomass yield
Grain yield
a b s t r a c t
Previous studies indicate biomass and grain production for energy purposes as potential
utilizations of the three Cynara cardunculus botanical varieties (globe artichoke, cultivated
cardoon, and wild cardoon). In this work, the results of C. cardunculus biomass and grain
yield under Sicilian (south Italy) low input conditions are shown. Over a 3 year period on
the plain of Catania (South Italy) six genotypes of C. cardunculus, including 1 cultivated
cardoon cultivar, 1 globe artichoke line, 1 wild cardoon ecotype, 3 F
progenies: globe
artichoke wild cardoon, globe artichoke cultivated cardoon and cultivated
cardoon wild cardoon, were evaluated for lignocellulosic biomass production, energy
yield and grain yield. On a 3 year average, the dry aboveground biomass and grain yield
resulted, respectively, about 2000 g plant
and 100 g plant
in globe artichoke wild
cardoon, 1720 and 126 g plant
in cultivated cardoon, 1570 and 90 g plant
in globe
artichoke cultivated cardoon, 1480 and 109 g plant
in cultivated cardoon wild
cardoon, 1116 and 75 g plant
in wild cardoon and 990 and 60 g plant
in globe artichoke.
The results showed that genotypes deriving from the cross of globe artichoke with
cultivated and wild cardoon improved the performance both of globe artichoke and wild
cardoon separately. It is reasonable to expect further improvements for biomass and grain
yield in C. cardunculus in the future by breeding work.
2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Cynara L. is an Asteraceae family genus, native to the Medi-
terranean Basin, comprising Cynara cardunculus L., Cynara
syriaca Boissier, Cynara cornigera Lindley, Cynara algarbiensis
Coss. ex Mariz, Cynara baetica (Spreng.) Pau, Cynara humilis L.,
Cynara auranitica Post and Cynara cyrenaica Maire and Weiller
[1]. C. cardunculus includes the globe artichoke (var. scolymus
L. C. scolymus L.), the cultivated cardoon (var. altilis DC.) and
the wild cardoon [var. sylvestris (Lamk) Fiori]. As previously
suggested [2], recent molecular studies [3], have conrmed
that wild cardoon is the ancestor of both cultivated forms,
which evolved separately as a result of different selection
Globe artichoke is a perennial rosette plant, grown
throughout the world for its large eshy heads (capitula) [4]. It
is an important vegetable in Mediterranean countries, where
93,000 ha, about 70% of the total world area, is cultivated. It is
* Corresponding author. Tel.: 39 095 291681; fax: 39 095 292870.
E-mail address: (A. Ierna).
Avai l abl e at www. sci encedi r ect . com
ht t p: / / www. el sevi er . com/ l ocat e/ bi ombi oe
b i o ma s s a nd b i oe ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 7 5 4 7 6 0
0961-9534/$ see front matter 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
also cultivated in United States, mainly in California (about
5000 ha), in South America (Argentina, Chile, Peru) (13,000 ha)
and is spreading in China (10,000 ha) [5].
The cultivated cardoon has been cultivated as a vegetable
(the commercial product is traditionally the enlarged bleached
petiole) since ancient times but the land area devoted to this
crop has never been large (actually about 23000 ha, even if
ofcial statistics are an underestimate) localised in Spain,
Italy, France and Greece.
The wild cardoon is a robust thistle with a characteristic
rosette of large spiny leaves and branched owering stems.
It is distributed over the west and central part of the
Mediterranean basin (Portugal to west Turkey), as well as
Madeira, Canary Islands; in post- Columbian time it colonized
some parts of the New World and has spread as a weed in
parts of Argentina and California [6]. Flowers of wild cardoon
have been used for centuries in the Iberian Peninsula for
manufacturing of ovine and/or caprine milk cheeses [710].
The small and thorny capitula are gathered and sometimes
sold in local markets in Sicily.
The spontaneous and cultivated genotypes of C. carduncu-
lus may be crossed and the obtained hybrids are entirely fertile
C. cardunculus is well adapted to the environment condi-
tions of Mediterranean Basin owing to the positive balance of
the phases of its growth cycle with the climatic trends, as well
the development of its long and vertical tap-root which
permits exploring a large volume of soil and probably allows
using low cultivation input. Its good adaptation to the
Mediterranean climate suggested its potential use for energy
purposes. Indeed, in recent years, C. cardunculus L., has been
considered for industrial applications. Its use as lignocellu-
losic biomass for alternative energy production (solid biofuel)
[1216], paper pulp [1720], and residue pellet combustion for
domestic heating [21] have been explored.
Plant fruits (achenes) can be utilized for oil production for
human consumption [22,23], and also to prepare biodiesel
[2426]. After oil extraction, seed cake could be used for animal
feed [27]. The evaluation of whole cardoon seed for feeding
ruminants has been conducted by Cajarville [28].
Roots could be used for the extraction of inulin, a fructose
polysaccharide of interest for food and non-food applications
[29]. C. cardunculus is also a source of biopharmaceuticals for
antimicrobial, pharmacological and antioxidant properties of
their constituents and extracts [3036].
A possible application of the crop, compatible with the use
of the dry biomass for energy production, is the fresh biomass
as forage for livestock feeding [9]. Previous researches carried
out in Southern Italy have highlighted the interesting yield
potential of C. cardunculus L. for biomass and grain production
With the aim of exploring the productive potential of
C. cardunculus for energy purposes, we have started up
a program of selection and crossing from among our large
collection of germplasm of globe artichoke, wild and
cultivated cardoons. The aim of the present study was to
evaluate the biomass and grain production for energy
purposes of six genotypes of C. cardunculus including new F
progenies over three growing seasons in a Mediterranean
environment under perennial low input cropping system.
2. Materials and methods
2.1. Experimental site
Plants were grown during three seasons (from 1998-1999 to
2000-2001) at the Catania plain (37

N, 15

E, 10 m above
sea level) in Sicily (South Italy). Soil characteristics were: clay
45%, silt 28%, sand 27%, limestone 5%, total nitrogen 1.0 &,
organic matter 1.0%, K
O 110 ppm, P
10 ppm. The local
climate is semiarid-Mediterranean with mild winters and hot,
rainless summers. From December to March, the mean 30-
year monthly minimum temperatures range from 5.3 to 6.7

and monthly maximum temperatures range from 15.4

C to

C. From April to August, minimum temperatures range
from 8.0

C to 18.8

C and maximum from 20.2 to 31.5

C; daily
temperatures above 35

C are experienced every year during
the summer. Rainfall over the years averages about 480 mm,
the majority (290 mm) is concentrated from October to
January; June, July andAugust are practically rainless (Table 1).
2.2. Plant material and crop management
Six genotypes of a germplasm collection were utilized. They
included 1 cultivated cardoon cultivar (CC), 1 globe artichoke
line (GA), 1 wild cardoon ecotype (WC), and 3 F
cultivated cardoonwild cardoon (CCWC), globe
artichoke cultivated cardoon (GACC), globe articho-
ke wild cardoon (GAWC). All genotypes were seed-
propagated. The cultivated cardoon is a commercial cultivar
called Cardo gigante di Romagna. The globe artichoke line
was developed by the Istituto per i Sistemi Agricoli e Forestali
del Mediterraneo, CNR, Section of Catania for head produc-
tion. Wild cardoon ecotype was collected in the coastal plain
area near Siracusa (Sicily). Both seeds of globe artichoke and
wild cardoon come from open-pollinated plants grown in the
germplasm collection. The three F
progenies were obtained
by controlled crosses at the end of spring 1997 with pollen
sources from 2-year-old plants, collected in the same
germplasm collection. Simple strategies of pollen preserva-
tion and application were applied. In particular, before the
anthesis of the owers, the heads of both female and male
parents were isolated with insect-proof mesh tents to avoid
external pollen contamination by bumblebess. The pollen of
the male parents was sampled and kept at a temperature of
4 1

C, then it was brushed on when the stigma of the ower
of female parents were receptive. During owering the heads
were covered by insect-proof mesh tents.
Seedlings at the stage of three-four leaves were trans-
planted in the eld on 25 September 1998. Spacing was 1.0
between rows and 0.8 along the row with a plant density of
about 1.25 plant m
. Each plot consisted of 30 plants.
A completely randomized block experimental design with
four replications was utilized. An irrigation (30 mm) was
carried out after transplanting and another 10 days later in
order to allow the establishment of the crop. Crop was grown
for 3 consecutive years. At the end of each annual crop cycle,
at complete maturation of achenes, the above-ground
biomass was cut down; crop regrowth was naturally carried
out by autumn rains.
b i oma s s a nd b i o e ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 7 5 4 7 6 0 755
Low input crop management was applied each year,
consisting of 80 kg ha
of nitrogen supplied as ammonium
nitrate and two manual weedings (October and December); an
aid irrigation with 50 mm (April) in the rst and third year was
2.3. Data collection
The plants were grown for dry biomass and grain production,
leaving all the heads maturing achenes (seeds). At owering
stage, plant height, number of heads per plant and number of
offshoots per plant were determined. The harvest of above-
ground biomass, heads enclosed, was carried out on 5 August
1999, 31 July 2000, 30 July 2001, whenthe plants hadcompletely
dried up. The plants were cut at ground level and immediately
weighed in the open eld in order to determine fresh weight.
Harvestedheads were threshedwitha specic minithresher to
separate grains (achenes), which were weighed.
In the laboratory, the moisture content of above-ground
biomass components (stalks, leaves and heads) and of grain
was measured by weighing 100 g of plant material in a pre-
calibrated porcelain capsule and placing it in a thermoventi-

Cuntil constant weight was reached. Biomass
yield and grain yield were expressed as g plant
of dry matter
(DM). The stalks leaves and heads incidence on total above-
ground biomass was calculated. Chemical composition of
biomass components (stalks, leaves and heads) determined in
previous research [37] was utilized for the calculation of the
theoretical caloric value of the biomass. The average value
16,517 kJ kg
DMwas utilized for the calculation of the energy
yield, expressed as total energy obtained by 1 ha of crop.
2.4. Data analysis
Data were submitted to the Bartletts test for the homogeneity
of variance and then analysed using ANOVA) [39], by CoStat
version 6.003 (CoHort Software) based on a factorial combi-
nation of genotype year of cultivation. Means were statisti-
cally separated on the basis of Student- Newman-Keuls (SNK)
test, when the F test of ANOVA for treatment was signicant
at least at the 0.05 probability level. Signicance was accepted
at P 0.05 level. Percentage data were transformed with the
Bliss formula before the ANOVA; untransformed data are
reported and discussed.
2.5. Weather conditions
Meteorological data were recorded with a CR 21 data logger
(Campbell Scientic, Inc., UK) located in the experimental site.
Average maximum air temperature during the experimental
period was 24.5

Cand resultedhigher thanover the long-term
period (22.8

C) (Table 1). Average minimum air temperatures
during the three-year periodwere 11.4

C, inline withthe long-
termperiod. Therewas considerable variabilityinrainfall from
year to year. The annual rainfall in 19981999 (234 mm) and
20002001 (308 mm), was lower than 19992000 period
(691 mm) and than the long-term average (478 mm).
3. Results and discussion
Results of the analysis of variance for all studied variables
showed signicant differences among genotypes and year.
Genotypes responded differently to changes in environmental
conditions over the years, as genotype year interaction was
highly signicant (P <0.001) for all the variables except for the
number of heads per plant (Table 2)
3.1. Aboveground biomass yield and its partitioning
On a 3-year average, the total aboveground biomass yield
(except for the grain) was about 2000 g plant
in GAWC,
1719 g plant
in CC, about 1500 g plant
in GACC and
CCWC, 1116 gplant
inWCand989 gplant
Table 1 Monthly maximum and minimum
temperatures and rainfall during the experimental period
(19982001) with the long-term (19591988).
Months 19981999 19992000 20002001 Long term
Maximum air temperature (

July 34.2 32.0 33.1 31.1
August 33.3 34.3 32.7 31.5
September 29.9 30.7 29.6 29.0
October 26.0 28.6 25.0 24.7
November 20.1 20.9 23.0 20.4
December 16.5 17.6 19.2 16.6
January 16.9 15.1 17.9 15.4
February 17.0 17.3 18.5 16.2
March 18.5 19.1 22.5 17.5
April 22.8 21.8 21.8 20.2
May 26.6 25.7 26.1 23.7
June 30.5 29.1 29.8 27.8
Mean 24.3 24.3 24.9 22.8
Minimum air temperature (

July 18.4 17.7 17.7 18.1
August 19.4 20.5 18.2 18.8
September 16.9 18.4 17.1 17.1
October 14.0 14.8 13.9 13.6
November 7.3 10.5 10.0 9.6
December 4.2 8.2 7.2 6.7
January 3.9 3.9 6.1 5.5
February 2.9 4.2 4.5 5.3
March 5.5 5.7 8.3 6.4
April 7.8 8.9 7.5 8.0
May 12.7 13.6 13.1 11.3
June 16.2 16.0 16.1 15.3
Mean 10.8 11.9 11.6 11.3
Rainfall (mm)
July 0 0 0 3
August 0 4 0 11
September 50 50 83 37
October 18 14 30 99
November 92 236 17 59
December 4 107 39 69
January 17 194 84 63
February 4 16 16 42
March 38 2 2 42
April 5 31 15 34
May 1 20 18 16
June 5 18 4 5
Total 234 691 308 478
b i o ma s s a nd b i oe ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 7 5 4 7 6 0 756
Biomass yield of cultivated cardoon is consistent with the
results obtained in central Spain [9] and in South Italy [12].
Biomass yield of wild cardoon is consistent with that found by
Foti et al, and Raccuia and Melilli in Sicily under similar
conditions [37,38].
As a general trend, the above-ground biomass production
increased from the rst to the second year and became stable
in the third year (Table 3).
The highest incidence of stalks leaves on the total
biomass was shown by CC, GA and GACC, while WC,
GAWC and CCWC showed the highest incidence of heads
(Table 4). The percentage incidence of stalks leaves on total
aboveground dry biomass progressively increased from the
rst to the third year, showing an opposite trend with respect
to the incidence of heads (Table 4). This trend proved accen-
tuated in WC in which from the rst to the third year the
incidence of stem and leaves increased from 43 to 65%, and
the incidence of the heads dropped from 57% to 35%, while
this did not occur in GACC.
Concerning the productive behaviour of the single geno-
types over the years, as a general trend it emerged that F
progenies and CC showed the highest values of biomass yield,
GA and WC lowest in each year (Table 3). The maximum
biomass yield was reached in both the rst and second year by
GAWC, while in the third year by GACC (Table 3). It is
worth noting that the biomass yield in GAWC was almost
double that of the parents and 16% more with respect to CC.
The biomass production of GACC was equal to 58% greater
with respect to GA. These rst results of F
progenies indicate
the possibility to increase the production of artichoke
biomass, which according to results of Foti et al. [37], is low, by
crossing with cultivated as well as wild cardoon.
3.2. Energy yield
The progress of energy yield was obviously similar to the
progress of biomass yield discussed earlier. In fact, energy
yield ranged between 122 GJ ha
reached by WC in the rst
year and 457 GJ ha
reached in GACC in the third year
(Table 3). The last values of energy potential are consistent
withthat found in Greece under appropriate management and
high plant density [40].
3.3. Number of offshoots
The rst year of cultivation saw the plants adapting to the
environment. Infact, inalmost all genotypes, onlyoneoffshoot
per plant was observed, and only in CC and in CCWC was
a number of shoots greater than one (2.0 and 3.3 offshoots
, respectively) observed. In the successive years, the
plants were better establishedandthe number of offshoots per
plant increased in all genotypes, reaching values that uctu-
ated in the second year from 1.7 (WC) to 4.5 (GAWC) and in
the third year from 2.6 (WC) to 5.0 (CCWC) (Table 5).
3.4. Plant height
Plant height was highest in CC (169 cm) and lowest in WC
(68 cm) and GA (84 cm); the other genotypes showed inter-
mediate values and negligible differences (Table 5).
Table 2 Mean value for each variable and signicance for genotype, year of cultivation and their interaction. NS [Not
Signicant; ** and *** signicant at P [0.01 and P [0.001, respectively.
Variable Genotype
Year of
cultivation (Y)
Above-ground biomass yield 1479 (g plant
) *** *** ***
Stalks leaves incidence
58 (%) *** *** ***
Heads weight incidence
42 (%) *** *** ***
Energy yield 305 (GJ ha
) *** ** ***
Offshoots 2.8 (N plant
) *** *** ***
Plant height 112 (cm) *** *** ***
Head 31 (N plant
) *** *** NS
Grain yield 92 (g plant
) *** *** ***
1000-seed weight 32 (g) *** *** ***
a On total of above-ground biomass.
Table 3 Above-ground biomass yield and energy yield of six genotypes during the 3 years of cultivation. Different letters
within each column indicate signicance at Student-Newman-Keuls multiple range test (P 0.05).
Genotype Above-ground biomass yield (g plant
) Energy yield (GJ ha
19981999 19992000 20002001 Mean 19981999 19992000 20002001 Mean
CC 1563 b 1707 b 1886 b 1719 b 322 b 352 b 389 b 354 b
GA 1055 d 888 c 1024 e 989 e 218 d 183 c 211 e 204 e
WC 592 e 1429 b 1327 d 1116 d 122 e 295 b 274 d 230 d
CCWC 1382 c 1688 b 1373 d 1481 c 285 c 348 b 284 d 306 c
GACC 940 d 1548 b 2214 a 1567 c 194 d 319 b 457 a 323 c
GAWC 2162 a 2207 a 1640 c 2003 a 446 a 455 a 339 c 413 a
Signicance *** *** *** *** *** ***
b i oma s s a nd b i o e ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 7 5 4 7 6 0 757
On average of genotypes, height of the crop harvested in
the second year was higher (140 cm) than that of the crop
harvested in the rst year (106 cm) and the third year (91 cm);
the rainfall recorded during the second year probably affected
this trait. It is interesting to note that notwithstanding the
plant height was modest, the production of biomass is
acceptable thanks to the contribution of the substantial
number of offshoots developed per plant.
3.5. Number of heads
On a 3 year average, CCWC produced 49 heads per plant,
just slightly more than GAWC (40 heads per plant) and CC
(37 heads per plant); the lowest number of heads per plant was
obtained in GA (6 heads per plant) and WC (18 heads per
plant). In GACC values were intermediate (Table 5). The
high number of heads found in CCWC, GAWC and CC can
be explained by the high number of offshoots formed by these
plants, each of which having a number of heads.
As a general trend, the number of heads per plant
increased fromthe rst to second year and decreased fromthe
second to the third year (Table 5).
3.6. Grain yield
On a 3-year average, CC had the greatest grain yield
(126 g plant
), not signicantly different from CCWC (109 g
). GAWC and GACC showed intermediate values
equal to 102 and 90 g plant
, respectively; WCand GAshowed
lowest grain yield (75 and 51 g plant
, respectively) (Table 6).
The grain production of CC, CCWC and GAWC may have
a good commercial value, considering that previous studies,
carried out in the same environment on C. cardunculus grain,
reported an oil content of about 25% of dry weight [22].
According to Basnizki and Zohary [41], globe artichoke is
a bad seed producer; nevertheless, the crossing of artichoke
with cultivated and wild cardoon improved its performance,
allowing a two-fold grain production. This concurs with a trial
carried out by the University of Cairo, in which various hybrid
progeny coming from the cross of globe artichoke with
cultivated cardoon showed a greater seed production than the
parents [42].
As a general trend, grain yield resulted higher in the second
year with respect to both the rst and third year. The rainfall
recorded during the second year probably affected this trait
allowing to better plant growth and development. Within each
year, grain yield showed consistent variability among
genotypes. Intherst year, it rangedfrom18 gplant
to 139 g plant
(CC). In the second year, high values were
shownby CCandcrosses involvedCCas CCWCandGACC;
intermediate values were observed in WC and GAWC (about
100 g plant
) and low ones in GA. In the third year, the worst
seed producer was GA(21 g plant
), while the other genotypes
produced ina signicantly higher degree, withseed production
that uctuated between 82 and 114 g pant
(Table 6).
3.7. 1000-seed weight
Regardless of genotype, 1000-seed weight was 38 g in the rst
year and decreased signicantly and progressively in the
Table 4 Incidence of stalks Dleaves and heads on total above-ground biomass yield of six genotypes during the 3 years of
cultivation. Different letters within each column indicate signicance at Student-Newman-Keuls multiple range test
(P 0.05).
Genotype Stalks leaves (%) Heads (%)
19981999 19992000 20002001 Mean 19981999 19992000 20002001 Mean
CC 61 a 67 a 73 a 67 a 39 b 32 c 27 c 33 d
GA 53 ab 64 a 65 b 61 b 47 ab 36 c 35 b 39 c
WC 43 b 43 c 65 b 50 d 57 a 57 a 35 b 50 a
CCWC 45 b 54 b 62 bc 54cd 55 a 46 b 38 ab 46 ab
GACC 63 a 68 a 57 c 63 b 37 b 32 c 43 a 37 c
GAWC 46 b 61 a 61 bc 56 c 53 a 39 c 39 ab 44 b
Signicance *** *** *** *** *** ***
Table 5 Number of offshoots, plant height and number of heads of six genotypes during the 3 years of cultivation.
Different letters within each column indicate signicance at Student-Newman-Keuls multiple range test (P 0.05).
Genotype Offshoots (N plant
) Plant height (cm) Heads (N plant
Mean 1998
Mean 1998
CC 3.3 a 3.7 a 4.2 ab 3.7 a 177 a 206 a 123 a 169 a 31.8 ab 44.4 a 35.6 b 37.3 b
GA 1.0 b 2.0 b 3.7 abc 2.2 b 90 c 97 d 66 c 84 c 7.2 c 5.2 b 5.3 d 5.9 d
WC 1.0 b 1.7 b 2.6 c 1.8 b 41 d 88 d 74 bc 68 d 8.1 c 29.7 a 16.5 c 18.1 c
CCWC 2.0 b 4.4 a 5.0 a 3.8 a 134 b 153 b 75 bc 121 b 41.4 a 57.6 a 48.2 a 49.1 a
GACC 1.0 b 2.0 b 3.5 bc 2.2 b 92 c 170 b 100 ab 121 b 25.0 b 44.0 a 29.5 b 32.8 b
GAWC 1.0 b 4.5 a 4.5 ab 3.3 a 104 c 125 c 106 a 112 b 39.6 a 42.7 a 38.6 ab 40.3 b
Signicance *** *** ** *** *** *** *** ** ***
b i o ma s s a nd b i oe ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 7 5 4 7 6 0 758
second (34 g) and third year (26 g). Both in the rst and second
year, the highest 1000-seed weight was recorded in GA,
GACCandGAWC, (onaverage of the two years 464144 g,
respectively). In the third year instead, only GACC main-
taineda high1000-seedweight (36 g), while inGAandGAWC
1000-seed weight decreased notably by about 50% (Table 6).
4. Conclusions
The potential of C. cardunculus as an energy crop in Mediter-
ranean environment in a perennial cultivation system with
low crop input is conrmed in this study in terms of biomass
and grain yield. C. cardunculus can be considered a competitive
energy crop in Mediterranean environment above all for its
low irrigation water requirement, probably as a consequence
of its good adaptation to the native environment.
cultivated and wild cardoon gave positive results in terms of
biomass and grain, and improved the performance of the
artichoke, which is selected for immature inorescence (head)
yield and produces little biomass and few seeds. Our results
therefore indicate that in C. cardunculus an increase in biomass
and grain yield by means of plant breeding seems feasible.
The high levels of biomass and grain production in some
C. cardunculus genotypes may allow a two-fold application of
the crop: lignocellulosic biomass for energy production and oil
seeds for biodiesel production.
In this preliminary study, a novel genetic combination
generated by crosses has been investigated, but in the future it
will be necessary to continue the work of breeding, also by
applying more recent and advanced methods, as recently
developed genetic linkage maps, in addition to traditional
ones [43,44].
A certain inuence of the year on some traits, in particular
height and grain yield, attributable to the higher than normal
rainfall, should also be kept in mind. It may therefore be
worthwhile considering irrigation with adequate volumes in
the spring months, above all to benet grain production.
Thanks to Scandurra S. and Maugeri R. for their excellent
technical advice.
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column indicate signicance at Student-Newman-Keuls multiple range test (P 0.05).
Genotype Grain yield (g plant
) 1000-seed weight (g)
19981999 19992000 20002001 Mean 19981999 19992000 20002001 Mean
CC 139 a 124 ab 114 a 126 a 34 bc 31 ab 26 b 30 b
GA 88 b 43 c 21 b 51 d 52 a 39 a 23 b 38 a
WC 43 c 101 b 82 a 75 c 23 c 29 b 22 b 25 c
CCWC 111 ab 128 ab 88 a 109 ab 27 c 27 b 23 b 26 c
GACC 18 c 156 a 96 a 90 bc 42 ab 39 a 36 a 39 a
GAWC 118 ab 101 b 86 a 102 b 50 a 38 a 24 b 37 a
Signicance *** *** *** *** ** **
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