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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01749

Morphological and biochemical diversity of shallot landraces preserved along the Croatian coast

 Nikola Major1,  Smiljana Goreta Ban1, 2*,  Branimir Urlić3, Dean Ban1, Gvozden Dumičić3 and  Josipa Perković1
  • 1Institute of Agriculture and Tourism, Croatia
  • 2Centre of Excellence for Biodiversity and Molecular Plant Breeding (CroP-BioDiv), Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • 3Institute for Adriatic Crops and Karst Reclamation, Croatia

Shallots are a valuable minor Allium crop, and are propagated vegetatively and maintained in home gardens across generations along the Croatian coast and island areas. Shallot landraces growing along the Croatian coast fall into three genotypes: A. cepa Aggregatum group (2n = 2x = 16), A. × proliferum (Moench) Schard. (2n = 2x = 16), and A. × cornutum Clementi ex Vis. (2n= 3x = 24), among which A. × cornutum is the most widespread. The aim of this study was to differentiate shallot accessions collected from local farmers using morphological markers. Also, the chemical composition including phenolic content, phenolic profile, total antioxidant capacity, and mineral composition, of shallot accessions was compared with that of the local landraces of common onion, and with market available shallot and common onion cultivars.
Based on morphological observations and using multivariate classification, shallot landraces were classified into three distinct groups. Properties, based on which A. × cornutum can be differentiated from A. cepa Aggregatum and A. × proliferum, are stamen morphology, stamen length, leaf and scape vegetative properties, number of bulbs in cluster, cluster mass, and bulb diameter. Flower diameter and flower pedicel length differentiate A. × cornutum and A. × proliferum from A. cepa Aggregatum.
Significant variability was observed in the biochemical profiles across tested accessions. Compared with the commercial common onion cultivars, local shallot accessions have higher bulb N, P, and K content. The major phenolic compounds identified in shallots were quercetin-4′-glucoside and quercetin-3,4′-diglucoside. Additionally, several other minor phenolic compounds were also identified. Morphological and biochemical profiles were evaluated using Partial Least Square (PLS) analysis. Specific morphological traits and biochemical markers for possible species identification are proposed.

Keywords: Shallot, Landrace, Phenols, morphological, PLS

Received: 13 Jul 2018; Accepted: 09 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

SPYRIDON A. PETROPOULOS, University of Thessaly, Greece

Reviewed by:

Maria Gonnella, Istituto di scienze delle produzioni alimentari, Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche, Italy
Antonio Tiberini, Dipartimento di Agraria, Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Italy  

Copyright: © 2018 Major, Goreta Ban, Urlić, Ban, Dumičić and Perković. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Smiljana Goreta Ban, Institute of Agriculture and Tourism, Poreč, Croatia,