Characterising the diversity of aubergine landraces in Turkey

A. Kir, B. Cetinel, N. Cetinkaya, J. Conroy, U. Schmutz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    For sustainable organic production, many growers and consumers consider non-replicable, F1/hybrid seeds to be contentious inputs. In contrast, locally adapted, disease resistant and disease tolerant organic seeds, preferably bred from landraces are viewed more favourably. The in situ conservation of landraces and a wide, diverse and well-described pool of plant genetic resources for breeding is seen as important and this has gained increased interest from organic producers in recent years. Therefore, this paper describes the survey, collection, morphological characterisation and disease resistance (Alternaria solani) of aubergine (Solanum melongena L., also called Brinjal eggplant) landraces across Turkey. Landraces of aubergine were surveyed and collected from all over the country and conserved ex situ in the Seed Gene Bank of Ankara in central Turkey. A minimum set of 11 important morphological and agronomic traits of ECPGR (European Cooparetive Programme for Plant Genetic Resources), IPBGR (The International Plant Board of Plant Genetic Resources) and UPOV (The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants) descriptors were used in clustering for PCA (principle component analysis) and accessions were tested for disease resistance to Alternaria solani. Results showed that, a) a high diversity of at least 65 aubergine landraces exists in Turkey. Five main principle components accounted for 78.6% of the total PCA variability, and b) 14 accessions of the total 65 aubergine landraces are resistant to Alternaria solani. We conclude that the characterised set of landraces can be a valuable resource for organic aubergine breeding programmes, and may contribute to the phase-out of other contentious inputs in organic farming such as copper fungicides. We also conclude that both a high diversity, but also similarities exist among aubergine landrace accessions in Turkey. Further research on potential disease resistance and molecular characterisation is needed to better integrate landrace diversity and disease resistance into organic food and farming systems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)79-85
    Number of pages7
    JournalActa Horticulturae
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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    This research has been financially supported by the Horizon2020 EU Funded project “Pathways to phase-out contentious inputs from organic agriculture in Europe” - Organic-PLUS (GA 774340).


    • conservation
    • disease resistance
    • early blight desiase
    • eggplant genetic resources
    • low input
    • morphological characterisation
    • organic agriculture

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Horticulture


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