Six new botanical varieties of Triticum from Oman
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Due to its geographic position on the northeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula and its sea trade relationships with Asia, East Africa and the Middle East, Oman has for millennia been at the cross-roads of inter-regional exchange of cultivated plants. This is reflected in recent findings of new cultivars of banana (Musa spp.) and wheat (Triticum spp.) in remote oases of the Hajar Mountains in northern Oman. Material collected in 2003 and 2004 contained six new botanical varieties of wheat which are described here. One of them belongs to the tetraploid T. aethiopicum, the others are hexaploid.
KeywordsBiodiversity Oasis agriculture Triticum aethiopicum T. aestivum T. compactum
We are thankful to the Royal Air Force of Oman and the College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat (Oman) for infrastructural support during germplasm collection, to the Ministry of Agriculture of Oman for their trust, to Eva Wiegard, Claudia Thieme and the gardeners of the Tropical Greenhouse at University of Kassel-Witzenhausen for their skillful technical assistance during the reproduction of the germplasm under controlled conditions, and to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for partial funding this study within the Omani-German research project ‘Transformation Processes in Oasis Settlements of Oman’ (BU1308).
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