Garlic (Allium sativum L.) and its wild relatives from Central Asia: evaluation for fertility potential

R. Kamenetsky, I. London Safir, M. Baizerman, F. Khassanov, C. Kik, H.D. Rabinowitch

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    28 Citations (Scopus)


    Garlic (Allium sativum L.) a popular condiment, is completely sterile, and thus is propagated only vegetatively. According to modern taxonomy, A. sativum and its closest wild relative A. longicuspis form a species complex. The collection of a large number of accessions of these taxa is the only means available for expansion of the genetic variability with regard to yield, quality, tolerance to biotic and abiotic traits, as well as flowering and possibly fertility restoration. A large number of garlic accessions was recently collected in Central Asia, the main center of garlic diversity. Plants were documented according to IPGRI rules, and thereafter evaluated and maintained in the field collections of vegetatively propagated alliums in Israel. The studied accessions were subdivided into two distinct sub-populations: semi-bolters and bolters. Most of flower-producing accessions produced both fertile pollen and receptive stigmas, and true garlic seeds were obtained from 5 accessions, collected in Kazakhstan in 1996-1998. The garlic inflorescence is an umbel-like structure with flower clusters (branches) arising from a common meristem. The flower morphology is typical of the genus Allium. Differentiation of topsets begins in the periphery of the apical surface only after floral differentiation has occurred, and the size, number and rapidity of topset development varies significantly between genotypes. Further studies of flowering physiology and fertility restoration, should focus on bolting genotypes which produce inflorescences with a high ratio of normal flowers to topsets.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-91
    JournalActa Horticulturae
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • Allium longicuspis
    • Bulblets
    • Fertility restoration
    • Florogenesis
    • Topsets


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