Survey and Morphological Characterization of Some Wild and Cultivated Types of Prunus mahaleb L. in Syria and their Availability of Drought Resistance

Mahasen Tawaklna
General Commission for Scientific Agriculture Research, Administration of Horticulture
Faculty of Agriculture, Aleppo University.


This research was conducted during theperiod 2009-2011 in order to survey and evaluate some types of Mahaleb (Prunus mahaleb L.)in ten sites belong to Syrian governorates represent the most important areas of wild and cultivated Mahaleb’s trees which are: Damascus countryside, Sweda’a, Homs, Latakia, Idlib, and Aleppo.

22 cultivated types, and 6 wild types were surveyed, and their morphological characterizations, and phenological stages were studied, then evaluated according to the productivity, and their possibility of propagation by sexually and asexually methods, and their tolerance to water stress by applying some deficient irrigation treatments on the studied types plantings in plasticpots.

The results of the geographical survey showed that Mahaleb had spread indifferent ecological zones, where observed at altitudes ranging from 400-2000 m, and average annual rainfall ranged between(400-1350)mm, indicating that it has greatable to adapt to different environmental conditions and it also includes different morphological types adapted to these conditions.

The results of the morphological characterization revealed the diversity of  the morphological characteristics of the studied types according to the different regions.The typesvariedinstrengthgrowthbetweenstronggrowth(WSD4 ,WREw11 ,CEM1,2 ,WLSr7 ,WLSe1 ,WAK3CET6 ,CHG1,2,3,5,9,10), and medium (WREs1 ,CHG4,6,7,8 ,CRS3 CET4 ,CEM3) and in the habit of growth which was upright (CEM1,2 ,WLSr7 ,WLSe1 ,WAK3,CET1,2,3,4,6 ,CHG1,2,4, 5,9,10,CRS1,2,3 ) and spread (WSD4 ,WRE11WREs1CHG3,6,7,8,CEM1,2CET5).

Shoot density ranged between medium (WLSr7, WAK3, CET1,3,5 ,CHG3,4,6,8,9CRS2) and thick(CEM1,2,3  ,CRS1,3 ,WRE11, WREs1, WSD4, WLSe1  CHG1,2,5  CET4,6)
the leaves varied in size between small(WLSr7, WREw11 ,WREs1), medium (CRS1,2,3 ,WLSe1 ,WAK3 ,CHG1,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,CET1,2,3,4,CEM3(, and large(WSD4 ,CEM1,2 ,CET5,6,CHG2,5), also differed in the petioles between short(WREw11,WREs1), medium(CEM1,2 , WLSe1 ,WLSr7 ,CET6 ,CHG1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10 CRS1,2,3), andlong,CET1,3,4 (CHG5WAK3(WSD4 ,CEM1).

The shape off ruits was between the spherical shape(WLSr7, WLSe1, ,WSD4 ,WREw11 ,CRS3 ,CHG5 ,CET6,CHG1,2,3,5,9,CET4,6CEM1,2,3),and oval shape as the rest of the types, also varied in the number of set fruits between low(WLSr7 ,WLSe1WREs1), and high(CRS1,2,3,CET6CEM1,2,3),and medium in the rest of the types.

The results showed a significant positive correlation between fruit weight and fruit percentage(r = 0.93 *)and between fruit weight and productivity off ruits and pulp of seeds, while showing anegative correlation between productivity per tree and the oil percentage in the wet weight of the seeds(r=- 0.34). It was found that CEM2 significantly exceeded compared to wild and cultivated types in the average weight of the fruit, and the average weight of the seed, and pulp percentage, and productivity per tree (0.5 g, 0.1 g, 56%, 41kg /tree)respectively.

The results of cluster analysis depending on 12 morphological characteristics showed that the studied types divided into 3 groups: the first group included the types       (WREw11، WREs1،WLSr7(where the relationship between the types(WREw11,WREs1)was clearly appeared.The second group included the types )WAK3,CHG5,WLSe1, CHG9,CHG1, CET6, CHG2, WSD4,CEM2,CEM1(, where the relationship between the types CEM2 and CEM1 was clearly appeared.
The third group included the types (CRS3، CEM3، CET3، CET4، CHG4، CRS2، CET1CRS1، CET2، CHG6، CHG8، CHG3، CHG7، CHG10، CET5), where the relationship between the types CHG6, CHG8 was clearly appeared.

The results showed the positive impact of stratification on increasing the seed germination in laboratory, and field, speed of germination, homogeneity, and the growth of plants, which was more significant in the period 120 days than in the periods 90 and 100 days.

The results have shown the significant influence of the time of taking the cuttings(semi-woody), and the concentration of IBA on the percentage of rooting, number of roots, and their length, where the date (15/10) showed best results than date (15/8) and the superiority of WSD4 compared to the rest of types(73.33%, 5.75 root/cutting, 4.48cm), respectively. On the other hand the grafting by T budding(March date) gave the highest success rate, and the best growth of scion compared to(July date)(69.23%, 44.19cm), respectively, and the superiority of CEM2in success rate, and the scion length (69.83%, 41.92cm), respectively.

The results of the effect of deficient irrigation on the studied types, by applying four levels(80, 60, 40.30%) of the field capacity, have revealed the negative impact of lack of irrigation water on plant growth, and it was noticed that the effect was higher with increased water stress,and showed that WREs1, and WREw11 were more tolerant towater stress. All types survived despite the increase in water stress up to 30% of field capacity, which allowing  to cultivate them in the marginal areas.

Keywords: Mahaleb, Prunus mahaleb L., types, survey, morphological characterization, sexwal propagation, vegetative propagation, water stress.