Numerical taxonomy of Portuguese Tronchuda cabbage and Galega kale landraces using morphological characters


A morphological study was carried out to determine the relationships among Portuguese cole landraces using 58 accessions belonging to: (i) Portuguese Tronchuda cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. tronchuda Bailey syn. var. costata De Candolle, Couve Tronchuda); (ii) Portuguese Galega kale (B. oleracea var. acephala De Candolle, Couve Galega); and (iii) other economically less important coles such as Algarve cabbages (B. oleracea var. capitata L., Couve do Algarve or B. oleracea var. sabauda L., Couve Repolho-lombarda do Algarve). The cole accessions were collected from the growers, studied under field conditions during two consecutive years, and characterized using 46 morphological characters from seedling stage to ripe silique. Morphological data were analysed by numerical taxonomy techniques using UPGMA (Unweighted Pair Group Method Using Arithmetic Averages) and by principal component analysis (PCA). Phenograms based on correlation and distance coefficients showed the existence of 8 main groups (A-H). Five of these groups correspond to Tronchuda cabbage landraces: (A) “Couves de Trás-os-Montes”; (B) “Couves do Minho”; (C) “Couves from Central Portugal”; (D) “Couve Portuguesa”; (E) “Couves from Southern inland Portugal”. The three other groups correspond to: (F) cabbages; (G) miscellaneous coles; and (H) Galega kales. Landrace groups are primarily associated with morphological differences among accessions and secondly with accession geographical origin. The interannual character variation did not affect the clustering patterns of the accessions and therefore the stability of landrace classification. PCA was congruent with the landrace groups defined by the phenograms and gave supplementary information on the usefulness of the characters for the definition of the various groups.

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Dias, J.S., Monteiro, A.A. & Lima, M.B. Numerical taxonomy of Portuguese Tronchuda cabbage and Galega kale landraces using morphological characters. Euphytica 69, 51–68 (1993).

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Key words

  • Brassica oleracea
  • classification
  • landrace groups
  • morphology
  • Portuguese coles