Plant material of loquat in Mediterranean countries
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Cita bibliográficaLlácer, G. Badenes, M. L. & Martínez-Calvo, J. (2004). Plant material of loquat in Mediterranean countries. In: Llácer G. & Badenes M. L. (eds.). First international symposium on loquat. Options Méditerranéenes: Série A. Séminaires Méditerranéens, 5, 45-52.
Most authors around the world now believe loquat originated in China. The loquat cultivated in Japan was introduced from China in ancient times. From there, loquat was introduced into several countries of the Mediterranean, in the same areas where citrus can be grown. The loquat was one of the most important species included in the European Project RESGEN-CT95-029 (1996-99), which aimed to study the genetic resources of minor fruit trees in Mediterranean countries. The conservation and characterization of loquat genetic resources and the most common cultivars and rootstocks in these countries are reported. Some of the most interesting cultivars from the IVIA collection are also described. The main problems of loquat plant material in the Mediterranean basin are: (I) the loss of genetic diversity, due to the loss of local cultivars that did not meet the market requirements; and (II) the crop relies on a unique or a few cultivars. In order to solve these problems, it is necessary to carry out two complementary research projects: (I) to keep working on collection, conservation and characterization of genetic resources; and (II) to start loquat breeding programmes aimed at obtaining new cultivars that could extend the range of cultivars available adapted to the market demands.