Transsexual Forms of Pistachio (Pistacia terebinthus L.) from Bulgaria - Biotechnological Approaches for Preservation, Multiplication and Inclusion in Selection Programs

P. GERCHEVA1, A. ZHIVONDOV1, L. NACHEVA1 and D. AVANZATO2
1 Fruit Growing Institute, BG - 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
2 CRA-Instituto Sperimentale per la Frutticoltura, Roma, Italy

Abstract

GERCHEVA, P., A. ZHIVONDOV, L. NACHEVA and D. AVANZATO, 2008. Transsexual forms of pistachio (Pistacia terebinthus L.) from Bulgaria - biotechnological approaches for preservation, multiplication and inclusion in selection programs. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 14: 449-453

The present article includes a detailed survey of the application of the biotechnological approaches to the multiplication and study of the Pistacia (pistachio) - nut fruit crop not widespread in Bulgaria, which economic significance in Mediterranean region and around the world grows continuously. The main reason for the development of the culture is the high nourishing value of the fruits, the existence of wild species and the potential for inter- and interspecies hybridization and mainly the exceptional drought resistance of the kind which allows its cultivation in soils that are under no irrigation, small-productive, stony and sliding (pliant to erosion) soils.
The Pistacia genus (Anacardiaceae) includes 12 deciduous species, all of which are trees. These species are dioecious, anemophylic and have their male and female flowers on separate trees. Among them, only P. vera is domesticated. For the industrial plantations of pistachio there should be plant a male tree for every 8-11 female trees, thus 10 % from the pistachio plantation is non-productive.
In the summer of 2002, Dr. D. Avanzato found a rare transsexual form of P. terebinthus in the Rhodopi Mountain. Later existence of a whole isolated population of these trees is determined. The discovered trees are the first case of a defined transsexual form among P. terebinthus.
The study of the area where this transsexual form of Pistacia terebinthus was found and the common application of in vivo and in vitro methods for propagation and molecular markers will allow its preservation and use as a rootstock and as a donor for monoeciousness in the pistachio hybridization programs.

Key words: pistachio, monoecious forms, in vitro, micro propagation
Abbreviations: BAP - 6-benzylaminopurine; IBA - indole-3-butyric acid; NAA - a-naphthaleneacetic acid; IAA - indole-3-acetic acid

See the article as a PDF