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Genetic relationship between Hungarian and Turkish apricots confirmed
Date:12/29/2010

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY Apricots are important to Turkey, the country where more apricot crops are grown and exported than anywhere in the world. Looking to unlock the mystery of apricots' origins and increase crop production, scientists are studying the genetic relationship between apricot varieties. New research from a team of Hungarian and Turkish scientists has confirmed the genetic link between Turkish and Hungarian apricot cultivars, yielding information that provides valuable data for apricot growers and breeders.

It is widely believed that apricots originated in China, arriving in Europe through central Asia and Asia Minor. Apricot cultivars are classified into four major eco-geographical groups: central Asian, Irano-Caucasian, European, and Dzhungar-Zailing. The central Asian and Irano-Caucasian (including Turkish cultivars) groups show the richest diversity, while the European groupincluding cultivars grown in North America, Australia, and South Africais thought to be the least diverse. Apricots from eastern European cultivars have clearly distinguished characteristics from other cultivars of European origin. Although many studies have been done on Turkish apricots, there remains uncertainty about the self-incompatibility genotypes for many Turkish cultivars.

A team of researchers from the Corvinus University of Budapest and Ataturk University and the Malatya Fruit Research Institute in Turkey published a study in the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science that confirms an evolutionary theory. "Microsatellite analyses have suggested that Hungarian and European apricot cultivars might have originated through hybridization among Irano-Caucasian genotypes", said corresponding author Jlia Halsz. This assumption seems to be confirmed by historical and linguistic evidence; during the Ottoman occupation of Hungary numerous records documented the introduction of Turkish graft-wood and other propagation materials to Hun
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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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