Diversity of Nut and Seedling Characteristics and Its Relationship to Habitat Climate in Some Almond Species

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Horticultural Science, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

2 Drought Research center, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran


This study carried out to evaluate variations and relationships of nut size, seedling morphological attributes and habitat climatic parameters in of Prunus scoparia (Spach) C. K. Schneid populations in comparison to three other almond species. A total of 10 populations including seven populations of P. scoparia and three of other almond species including P. elaeagnifolia Spach., P. eburnea Spach., and P. dulcis Mill. were raised from seeds in greenhouse condition. Results showed noticeable variations in the studied seedlings characteristics within and among the populations. Among P. scoparia, Nourabad, Shiraz and Lordegan populations were superior to other populations in most of the measured traits. Useful correlations were observed between nut and seedling traits, among them, the highest correlation (r = 0.89) was between nut weight and leaf width. Altitude and annual precipitation correlated positively with some of the nut and seedling characteristics (ranging from r = 0.13 to r = 0.33). Based on principal components analysis (PCA), the first three components explained 76.2 % of the total variation of morphological characteristics. Using cluster analysis as well as a bi-plot of PCA, the genotypes classified into two main clusters of wild and domesticated populations. The main cluster of the wild populations divided into three sub-clusters based on their botanical categorization, whilst P. scoparia populations clustered based on geographic proximity and climate similarity. Results may have important implications for managing these genetic resources as well as their use in future breeding programs especially for the development of new rootstocks for almond and stone fruits.


Alberghina O (1978) The wild almond, Amygdalus webbii, of south west Sicily. Tecnica-Agrico. 30(6), 385-393.
Ali JJM, Nori IM, Hama SJ, Rashed SO (2015) Water harvesting through utilization of wild almond as rootstocks for production of peach, apricot and plum under dry land farming in Sulaymaniyah region. International Journal of Innovative Science, Engineering & Technology. 2(8), 705-724.
Alinia Ahandani EA, Ramandi HD, Sarmad J, Samani MA, Yavari A (2014) Evaluation of morphological diversity among some Persian walnut accessions (Juglans regia L.) in Guilan, northern Iran. International Journal of Plant Biology & Research. 2(3), 1015-1022.
Ansari A, Gharaghani A (2019) A Comparative Study of Genetic Diversity, Heritability and Inter-relationships of Tree and Nut Attributes between Prunus scoparia and P. elaeagnifolia using Multivariate Statistical Analysis. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 6(1), 137-150.
Arteca RN (2013) Plant growth substances: principles and applications. Springer Science & Business Media.
Azimi M, Tahernezhad Z, Zamani M (2016). Genetic variation within Iranian iris species using morphological traits. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 3(1), 89-98. 
Baninasab B, Rahemi M (2007) Evaluation of three wild species of almond on the basis of their morphological characters. Journal of Central European Agriculture. 7(4), 619-626.
Barzegargolchini B, Movafeghi A, Dehestani A, Mehrabanjoubani P (2017) Morphological and anatomical changes in stems of Aeluropus littoralis under salt stress. Journal of Plant Molecular Breeding. 5(1), 40-48.
Bianco RL, Panno G, Avellone G (2013) Characterization of Sicilian olive genotypes by multivariate analysis of leaf and fruit chemical and morphological properties. Journal of Agricultural Science. 5(11), 229-245.
Cabrera-Bosquet L, Sánchez C, Araus JL (2009) How yield relates to ash content, Δ13C and Δ18O in maize grown under different water regimes. Annals of Botany. 104(6), 1207-1216.
Ansari A, Gharaghani A (2019) A comparative study of genetic diversity, heritability and inter-relationships of tree and nut attributes between Prunus scoparia and P. elaeagnifolia using multivariate statistical analysis. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 6(1), 137-50.
Azimi MH, Karimi Alvijeh M, Zarei A (2018) Intervarietal hybridization and observation of heterosis in the new hybrids of Iris germanica. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 5(1), 65-79.
Costes E, Crespel L, Denoyes B, Morel P, Demene MN, Lauri PE, Wenden B (2014) Bud structure, position and fate generate various branching patterns along shoots of closely related Rosaceae species: a review. Frontiers in Plant Science. 5, 666.
Coste E, Lauri PE, Regnard JL (2006) Analyzing fruit tree architecture: implications for tree management and fruit production. Horticultural Reviews, 32, 1-61.
Cousins P (2005) Rootstock breeding: An analysis of intractability. HortScience. 40(7), 1945-1946.
Danesh M, Lotfi M, Azizinia S (2015) Genetic diversity of Iranian melon cultigens revealed by AFLP markers. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 2(1), 43-53. 
Daryaei MG, Hoseiny SK, Taheri K, Mirzaei J, Mzbani A (2012) Effect of morphological variables of Pistacia atlantica on gum and seed Production. Iranian Journal of Biology. 25(2), 303-315.
DeJong TM, Doyle JF (1984) Cropping efficiency, dry matter and nitrogen distribution in mature genetic dwarf and standard peach trees. Acta Horticulturae. 146,89-95.
Ebrahimi A and Vahdati K (2006) Improved success of Persian walnut grafting under environmentally controlled conditions. International Journal of Fruit Science. 6(4), 3-12.
Fallahi E, Colt WM, Fallahi B, Chun IJ (2001) The importance of apple rootstocks on tree growth, yield, fruit quality, leaf nutrition, and photosynthesis with an emphasis on ‘Fuji’. HortTechnology. 12(1), 87-90.
Faust M (1989) Physiology of temperate zone fruit trees. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 338 pp.
Finch-Savage WE, Bassel GW (2015) Seed vigour and crop establishment: extending performance beyond adaptation. Journal of Experimental Botany. 67(3), 567-591.
Genard M, Bruchou C (1992) Multivariate analysis of within-tree factors accounting for the variation of peach fruit quality. Scientia Horticulturae. 52(1-2), 37-51.
Gharaghani A, Eshghi S (2015) Prunus scoparia, a potentially multi-purpose wild almond species in Iran. Acta Horticulturae. 1074, 67-72.
Gharaghani A, Solhjoo S, Oraguzie N (2017) A review of genetic resources of almonds and stone fruits (Prunus spp.) in Iran. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 64(3), 611-640.
Ghasemi Soloklui AA, Gharaghani A, Oraguzie N, Eshghi S, Vazifeshenas M (2017) Chilling and heat requirements of 20 Iranian pomegranate cultivars and their correlations with geographical and climatic parameters, as well as tree and fruit characteristics. HortScience. 52(4), 560-565.
Gholami M, Rahemi M, Kholdebarin B (2010) Effect of drought stress induced by polyethylene glycol on seed germination of four wild almond species. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences. 4(5) 785-791.
Hassanzadeh Khankahdani H, Bagheri A (2019) Identification of genetic variation of male and female date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars using morphological and molecular markers. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 6(1), 63-76.
Hesse CO (1975) Peaches. In: Janick J, Moore JN (eds) Advances in fruit breeding. Purdue University Press, West Lafayette, Indiana, pp.285-335.
Iezzoni AF, Pritts, MP (1991) Applications of principal component analysis to horticultural research. HortScience. 26(4), 334-338.
Imani A, Amani G, Shamili M, Mousavi A, Hamed R, Rasouli M, José Martínez P (2021) Diversity and broad sense heritability of phenotypic characteristic in almond cultivars and genotypes. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 8(3), 261-9.
Karimi HR, Zamani Z, Ebadi A, Fatahi MR (2009) Morphological diversity of Pistacia species in Iran. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 56(4), 561-571.
Kaźmierczak K, Zawieja B (2014) The influence of weather conditions on annual height increments of Scots pine. Biometrical Letters. 51(2), 143-152.
Kester DE, Gradziel TM (1996) Almonds. In: Janick, J., Moore, J.N. (Eds.), Fruit Breeding. Wiley, New York, USA. pp. 1–97.
Khadivi-Khub A, Anjam K (2014) Morphological characterization of Prunus scoparia using multivariate analysis. Plant Systematics and Evolution. 300(6), 1361-1372.
Khadivi-Khub A, Sarooghi F, Abbasi F (2016) Phenotypic variation of Prunus scoparia germplasm: Implications for breeding. Scientia Horticulturae. 207, 193-202.
Khatamsaz H (1992) Iran’s Flora, Rosaceae. Research Institute of Forests and Range lands, Tehran, Iran (In Persian).
Lansari A, Iezzoni AF, Kester DE (1994) Morphological variation within collections of Moroccan almond clones and Mediterranean and North American cultivars. Euphytica. 78(1-2), 27-41.
Lauri PÉ, Laurens F (2005) Architectural types in apple (Malus X domestica Borkh.). Crops: growth, quality and Biotechnology. pp. 1300-1314.
Lim LS, Siti Hawa J (2007) Earliness in flowering and dwarfism in relation to internode length and tree height in papaya (Carica papaya L.). Acta Horticulturae. 740, 103-108.
Liu F, Yang W, Wang Z, Xu Z, Liu H, Zhang M, Liu Y, An S, Sun S (2010) Plant size effects on the relationships among specific leaf area, leaf nutrient content, and photosynthetic capacity in tropical woody species. Acta Oecologica. 36(2), 149-159.
Lombardero MJ, Ayres MP, Ayres BD (2006) Effects of fire and mechanical wounding on Pinus resinosa resin defenses, beetle attacks, and pathogens. Forest Ecology and Management. 225(1-3), 349-358.
Madam B, Rahemi M, Mousavi A, Martines GP (2011) Evaluation of the behavior of native Iranian almond species as rootstocks. International Journal of Nuts and Related Sciences. 2(3), 29-34.
Madani F (2006) Afforestation trial with different varieties of the almond species in the forestlands of the Kurdistan province – First Phase. In IV International Symposium on Pistachios and Almonds. Acta Horticulturae. 726, 99-104.
Minitab Inc. (1998) Minitab reference manual, version 16, Chikago, Minitab, Inc.
Modarres R, da Silva VDPR (2007) Rainfall trends in arid and semi-arid regions of Iran. Journal of Arid Environments. 70(2), 344-355.
Mohammadi SA, Prasanna BM (2003) Analysis of genetic diversity in crop plants—salient statistical tools and considerations. Crop Science. 43(4), 1235-1248.
Monneveux P, Reynolds MP, Trethowan R, Peña J, Zapata F (2004) Carbon isotope discrimination, leaf ash content and grain yield in bread and durum wheat grown under full‐irrigated conditions. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science. 190(6), 389-394.
Mousavi A, Madani B, Rahemi M, Martinez-Gomez P (2011) Morphological characteristics and graft-take of Iranian wild almond rootstocks. In V International Symposium on Pistachios and Almonds. Acta Horticulturae. 912, 57-264.
Mozaffarian V (2005) Trees and shrubs of Iran. Farhang Moaser Publisher, Tehran, Iran. pp.642-664 (In Persian).
Niklas KJ (2007) Maximum plant height and the biophysical factors that limit it. Tree Physiology. 27(3), 433-440.
Nikoumanesh K, Ebadi A, Zeinalabedini M, Gogorcena Y (2011) Morphological and molecular variability in some Iranian almond genotypes and related Prunus species and their potentials for rootstock breeding. Scientia Horticulturae. 129(1), 108-118.
Orsanic M, Drvodelić D, Jemrić T, Anić I, Mikac S (2009) Variability of morphological and biological characteristics of wild service tree (Sorbus torminalis (L.) Crantz) fruits and seeds from different altitudes. Periodicum Biologorum. 111(4), 495-504.
Pourkhaloee A, Khosh-Khui M, Arens P, Salehi H, Razi H, Niazi A, Afsharifar A, van Tuyl J (2017). Genetic diversity and population structure of Iranian tulips revealed by EST-SSR and NBS-LRR Markers. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 4(2), 167-182. 
Rahemi A, Fatahi Moghaddam MR, Ebadi A, Taghavi T, Hassani D (2011) Fruit characteristics of some wild almonds in Iran. Seed and Plant Improvment Journal. 27(4), 459-481.
Rahimi Dvin S, Gharaghani A, Eshghi S, Avanzato D, Ansari A (2017) Diversity in the nut and kernel characteristics of seven populations of Prunus scoparia from the central and southern Zagros regions of Iran by comparison with three other almond species. Fruits. 72(6), 370-381.
Rezaee R, Vahdati K, Grigoorian W, Valizadeh M (2008) Walnut grafting success and bleeding rate as affected by different grafting methods and seedling vigor. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology. 83(1), 94-99.
Roozban MR, Mohamadi N and Vahdati K (2005) Fat content and fatty acid composition of four Iranian pistachio varieties grown in Iran. Acta Horticulturae. 726, 573-577.
Saddoud Debbabi O, Khanfir E, Dridi M, Mars MM (2021) Ethnobotanical and on farm genetic surveys of fig (Ficus carica L.) genetic resources in Kerkennah islands. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 8(2), 153-163.
Sarikhani S, Vahdati K, Ligterink W (2021) Biochemical properties of superior Persian walnut genotypes originated from Southwest of Iran. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 8(1), 13-24. 
Sefc KM, Lopes MS, Lefort F, Botta R, Roubelakis-Angelakis KA, Ibanez J, Pejic I, Wagner HW, Glössl J, Steinkellner H (2000) Microsatellite variability in grapevine cultivars from different European regions and evaluation of assignment testing to assess the geographic origin of cultivars. Theoritical and Appllied Genetics. 100, 498–505.
Sharifani M, Kimura T, Yamamoto T, Nishtani C (2017) Genetic diversity of pear (Pyrus spp.) germplasm assessed by Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) and morphological traits. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 4(2), 145-155.
Sorkheh K, Shiran B, Rouhi V, Asadi E, Jahanbazi H, Moradi H, Gradziel TM, Martínez-Gómez P (2009) Phenotypic diversity within native Iranian almond (Prunus spp.) species and their breeding potential. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 56(7), 947-961.
Srivastava K, Zargar K, Singh S (2010) Genetic divergence among Corylus colurna genotypes based on morphological characters of hazelnut. Biodiversity: Research and Conservation. 17, 13-17.
Talebi KS, Sajedi T, Pourhashemi M (2013) Forests of Iran: A Treasure from the Past, a Hope for the Future. Springer Science + Business Media Dordrecht. pp. 67-113.
Talhouk SN, Lubani RT, Baalbaki R, Zurayk R, AlKhatib A, Parmaksizian L, Jaradat AA (2000) Phenotypic diversity and morphological characterization of Amygdalus L. species in Lebanon. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 47(1), 93-104.
Thakur BS, Sharma OC, Mehta K, Sharma DP, Rehalia AS (2005) Genetic divergence in almond (Prunus amygdalus Batsch) growing in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh. Acta Horticulturae. 696,69-74.
Vahdati K (2014) Walnut tolerance to abiotic stresses: approaches and prospects. Acta Horticulturae 1050, 399-406.
Vahdati K, Arab MM, Sarikhani S, Sadat Hosseini M, Leslie CA, Brown PJ (2019a) Advances in Persian walnut (Juglans regia L.) breeding strategies. In: JM Al-Khayri, SM Jain and DV Johnson (eds.) Advances in plant breeding strategies, Vol 4. pp. 401-472. Nut and Beverage Crops. Springer, Switzerland.
Vahdati K, Bavani AR, Khosh-Khui M, Fakour P, Sarikhani S. (2019b) Applying the AOGCM-AR5 models to the assessments of land suitability for walnut cultivation in response to climate change: A case study of Iran. PloS One. 2019, 14(6).
Vahdati K, Hassani D and Rezaee R (2014) Behavior of some early mature and dwarf Persian walnut trees in Iran. Acta Horticulturae 1050, 189-196.
Vahdati K, Mohseni Pourtaklu S, Karimi Rouhollah, Barzehkar Rouhollah, Amiri R, Mozaffari M and Woeste K (2015) Genetic diversity and gene flow of some Persian walnut populations in southeast of Iran revealed by SSR markers. Plant Systematics and Evolution. 301, 691-699.
Vahdati K, Rezaee R and Mirmasoumi M (2008) Micropropagation of some dwarf and early mature walnut genotypes. Biotechnology. 8, 171-175.
Vallesteros SF, Carandang WM (2015) Phenotypic variation in tree form dimensions, fruit and seed traits, and oil content of Jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.) from three provenances. Journal of Society and Technology. 5(1), 24-33.
Voltas J, Romagosa I, Muñoz P, Araus JL (1998) Mineral accumulation, carbon isotope discrimination and indirect selection for grain yield in two-rowed barley grown under semiarid conditions. European Journal of Agronomy. 9(2-3), 147-155.
Wang SY, Faust M (1987) The relationship of internode length to carbohydrate content in genetic dwarf apple trees. Scientia Horticulturae. 33(3-4), 197-203.
Wilson PJ, Thompson KEN, Hodgson JG (1999) Specific leaf area and leaf dry matter content as alternative predictors of plant strategies. New Phytologist. 143(1), 155-162.
Wright PR, Morgan JM, Jessop RS (1997) Turgor maintenance by osmoregulation in Brassica napus and B. juncea under field conditions. Annals of Botany. 80(3), 313-319.
Xie Y, Kiniry JR, Nedbalek V, Rosenthal WD (2001) Maize and sorghum simulations with CERES-maize, SORKAM, and ALMANAC under water -limiting conditions. Agronomy Journal. 93(5), 1148-1155.
Zeinalabedini M, Majourhat K, Khayam-Nekoui M, Grigorian V, Torchi M, Dicenta F, Martínez-Gómez P (2008) Comparison of the use of morphological, protein and DNA markers in the genetic characterization of Iranian wild Prunus species. Scientia Horticulturae. 116(1), 80-88.
Zokaee-Khosroshahi M, Esna-Ashari M, Ershadi A, Imani A (2014) Morphological Changes in Response to Drought Stress in Cultivated and Wild Almond Species. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology. 1(1), 79-92.