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Morphological characterization of kale populations from northwestern Spain


Crops belonging to the genus Brassicaare widely grown in Galicia (northwesternSpain). Kales (Brassica oleracea L.convar. acephala (DC.) Alef.) are oneof the most important Brassica cropsin this region where landraces aretraditionally grown by farmers on smallplots for either human or animal food.Fifteen kale populations from northwesternSpain were evaluated in two locations andtwo planting dates (early and late). Theobjectives were i) to study theirmorphological diversity, ii) to determinetheir relationships, and iii) to evaluatetheir morphological and agronomiccharacteristics that could be incorporatedto breeding programs in the future.Significant differences were found amongpopulations for all traits while genotype ×environment interaction was not significantfor most of them. Cluster and principalcomponent analysis were performed todetermine relationships among landraces andto obtain information on the usefulness ofthe characters for the definition ofgroups. The phenogram showed five groups,two groups including most of thepopulations and three small independentgroups. Groups of landraces were associatedwith the geographical origin and withmorphological differences amongpopulations, mainly with the length oftheir vegetative phase: north and earlypopulations (cluster A) and south and latepopulations (cluster B). Morphologicaldiversity was higher in coastal populationsthan in inland populations. As conclusion,the populations evaluated in this workdisplay a wide diversity of traits whichenable us to select and combine someinteresting landraces for important traitsin order to obtain improved varieties.

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Cartea, M.E., Picoaga, A., Soengas, P. et al. Morphological characterization of kale populations from northwestern Spain. Euphytica 129, 25–32 (2003).

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  • Brassica oleracea
  • classification
  • kale
  • landrace groups
  • morphological diversity
  • numerical taxonomy