Selection of seedling rootstocks for apricot and almond
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Seedlings from apricot and almond are the most widely used rootstocks for these species in the Mediterranean basin. However, selection studies on almond and apricot seed sources aimed at producing homogeneous seedlings with good vegetative growth and which are easy to graft have not been frequent. In France, 'Manicot GF 1236' seedlings have been selected as rootstocks for apricot. On the other hand, in some countries, several almond cultivars have been identified as good rootstocks, because germination of seeds resulted in homogeneous plants with uniform growth in the nursery. The present study is aimed at selecting seedling rootstocks for apricot and almond. The selection criteria are optimum vegetative growth and homogeneity. These criteria will allow their certification. Seedlings from apricot came from seeds of nine clones of the cultivar 'Canino'. Seedlings from almond came from seeds of two clones: 'Atocha 0288' and 'Garrigues 0764'. Seeds from 'Manicot GF 1236', 'Canino' from canning enterprises and 'Nemaguard' peach were used as a control of homogeneity and growth. Germination and vegetative growth percentages were recorded. Data were analysed by ANOVA and the intraclonal homogeneity was studied by means of variance comparison. Seedlings from the apricot clone 'Canino 9-7 and from the almond clone 'Garrigues 0764' showed better characteristics than the other seedlings assayed, hence they are proposed as apricot and almond seedling rootstock candidates for producing certified plants, once the sanitary status is checked and the result is satisfactory.