Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/29/2002
Publication Date: 8/9/2002
Citation: Etoh, T., Simon, P.W. 2002. Diversity, fertility and seed production of garlic. In: Rabinowitch, H.D. and Currah, L., editors. Advances in Allium Science. New York, NY: CABI Publishing. p. 101-118. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Garlic probably was highly variable in its primary center of origin even before it was dispersed. However, with that spread, its intraspecific variation must have become greater, and isolation must have accelerated diversification presuming that sexual reproduction occurred outside of its center of origin. Today garlic has great variation in maturity, bulb size and color, clove size and number, bolting, scape height, number and size of inflorescence bulbils and number of flower. The recent success in production of true garlic seeds opens up the scenario for genetic recombinations in wild and cultivated A. sativum and this could have a highly significant effect over the long path of crop improvement. Now more new genetic combinations are available outside of garlic's center of diversity than in all of history, so much field testing of seedlings is now underway. Extensive variation has already been observed in plant growth and bulb characteristics. Inbreeding depression, heterosis, variation for disease resistance and other interspecifics can also now be evaluated. The first useful seedling selections will be asexually propagated, as has garlic of history, but seed propagation of the garlic crop may even be feasible at some time in the future. Other unanticipated developments will doubtless arise.