Amaranth is a sign culture for Latin and South America. It was here that he was recognized for the first time as a culture capable of giving people strength and energy, health. Although it was here that amaranth almost completely destroyed the Spanish conquerors. However, in recent years, amaranth is gaining strength again. It is actively investigated and tested, I use it as a food product.
Therefore, amaranth research conducted in Ecuador in 2013 by scientists from this country and Russia is of great interest. The purpose of the research is to determine the biometric characteristics of amaranth in Ecuadorian conditions. The results will determine the true value of the plant.
Who did the research
Researches were conducted by employees of the Technical University of Cotopaxi, Ecuador, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, Russia, All-Russian Research Institute of Vegetable Breeding and Seed Breeding, Moscow Region, Russia – this is Orres Mino Carlos, Hakome Emerson, E. V. Romanova, M. S. Gins.
In the course of the research, all the biometric features of the existing amaranth varieties of Russian breeding were thoroughly studied during their cultivation under the climatic conditions of Ecuador.
According to the research results, culture samples were identified, which are characterized by:
- high yield;
- resistant to fungal diseases;
- environmental plasticity;
- and have the prospect for further breeding and cultivation in the conditions of Latin America.
Why it was decided to conduct research amaranth
The study was decided to conduct because of the universality of culture. Amaranth is a versatile plant whose products can be successfully used in various fields:
In particular, the researchers noted the fact that in medicine, amaranth can be used as an anti-inflammatory, hemostatic, diuretic, and antibacterial “drug.” In addition, earlier other scientists and researchers established facts on the ability of amaranth to act as a plant that performs the prevention of cancer.
Amaranth in Ecuador and Russia
Where is the selection of amaranth in Russia
The main, advanced center for the breeding of this plant in the Russian Federation is VNIISSOK, now the Federal Scientific Center for Vegetable Growing. It was here that several varieties of a plant with high nutritional and medicinal properties were “developed”.
At the time of the research (2013), 23 varieties of amaranth permitted for cultivation and production in Russia were entered into the State Register of Breeding Achievements.
Amaranth in Ecuador: where it is explored
Ecuadorians know amaranth under different names:
- quinoa de castilla.
The Autonomous National Institute for Agricultural Research (INIAP) of Ecuador has created and launched a unique Andean Cultural Research and Development program.
The first studies in this program started back in 1983. Then scientists focused on the assembly and evaluation of local germplasm and germplasm introductions from other countries in the Andean zone. Carrying out such work allowed Ecuadorian researchers to collect a collection of amaranth seeds growing in the high-mountainous regions of the Ecuadorian Andes. It is noteworthy that in the mountains only black seeds were found.
What exactly investigated Ecuadorian and Russian scientists
In the course of joint research, amaranth varieties used in the collection of the Federal Scientific Center for Vegetable-Growing were used:
- Don Pedro;
- In memory of Covas;
- Green Icicle;
Comparison of all the varieties included in the research was carried out, relying on the parameters determined by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) – Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.
Where and under what conditions were amaranth studies conducted in Ecuador
Plots of land in the Ecuadorian province of Cotopaxi, near the city of Latacunga, were selected for research. In particular, on the experimental fields of the University of Cotopaxi.
- field height – 2.7 km above sea level;
- average annual air temperature indicators – 13.5 degrees Celsius;
- air humidity – at the level of 70%;
- the length of daylight hours per month – 120 hours;
- rainfall is 550 millimeters per year.
Sowing of seeds selected for research was carried out manually, using an ordinary method. Accounting plot – 3 m. The repetition is threefold. The seeding depth is 1.5–2.0 cm. The seeding rate is 0.5–0.7 grams per square meter of sown area.
What results were obtained during the research
The biometric parameters of the studies are shown in the table below. Briefly decipher them. So, the highest stalk turned out to be Kizlyarets, 134 centimeters. Thumbelina has the shortest one, only 50 centimeters.
All plants participating in the study were characterized by varying degrees of branching. For example, the Nezhenka variety had no branches at all. But such varieties as Green Icicle, Don Pedro and some other branches were very, very much.
If we talk about the length of the panicle, the Green Icicle variety showed the highest results, while Thumbelina had the smallest panicle again.
It is noteworthy that only the Torch variety had a panicle shape that was different – the inflorescence was globus-like. In all other varieties – the shape of the panicle corresponded to the amaranth form.
The type of inflorescence in the samples used during the research varieties was of three types:
- intermediate, that is, polostyachy.
The number of days to amaranth bloom ranged from 50 to 66. Green Icicle and Torch had the shortest period.
When studying the relationship between plant biometrics on the Cheddok scale, researchers found three interesting relationships:
- the presence of a high degree of correlation between the days before flowering and the height of the plant;
- a significant degree of correlation between the height of amaranth and the length of the panicle of the inflorescence;
- moderate correlation between days before flowering and amaranth inflorescence long panicle.
What threats to amaranth are in Ecuador?
The main threat to amaranth in Ecuador is sclerotinia, which belong to the discomycetes group.
With the appearance of these fungi and their development, the yield level of amaranth is significantly reduced. Studies have provided data to 9 out of 10 samples of amaranth, used as samples, in various degrees were infected with a fungus.
The highest degree of susceptibility is in the Mace variety. The average susceptibility of three varieties – Valentine, Kizlyarets, Fortress. And only the Torch variety showed resistance to the development of sclerotia.
The joint Russian-Ecuadorian studies carried out have made it possible to establish the following: amaranth is a culture with rather high ecological plasticity. Therefore, varieties bred under the conditions of Russia showed quite high and stable results even in other climatic zones and growing conditions, where there is a significant difference not only in climate, but also in soil indicators.
These results should be useful to Ukrainian farmers. After all, they demonstrate that in general, different varieties of amaranth will grow well in different regions of Ukraine. What is not less important. Indeed, as is known, in different parts of the country there are different climatic conditions and soil characteristics. Studies show that, in general, amaranth tolerates various growing conditions and is even able to adapt to them.