The aim of this work was to evaluate garlic diversity based on the production of chemical components in the bulbs and geographical distribution. A total of 103 garlic clones collected from worldwide sources were grown in Yamaguchi, Japan. The chemical contents–S-allyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide (AlCSO), and phenolic content—of garlic collections were determined by HPLC and Folin–Ciocalteu assay, respectively. Quantitative analysis of the chemical content showed wide variations between geographical collection sites. Morphological observation of inflorescence was performed, and clones were divided into four types according to their bolting traits: Type A—bolters, producing mainly florets; Type B—bolters, producing mainly bulbils; Type C—incomplete bolters; and Type D—non-bolters. The appearance frequencies of the bolting types varied depending on the latitude of the collection sites. A comparison of these four different types was carried out based on chemical composition data. Garlic clones that possessed florets showed a tendency for higher amount of AlCSO content than did Type B. Moreover, it was confirmed that as distance increased from high-latitude areas (Central Asia and The Northern Mediterranean), the garlic was more likely to produce bulbils in the inflorescence with lower AlCSO content and higher phenolic content. This research suggested that garlic’s transition of from sexual propagation to asexual (vegetative) propagation and changes in the chemical composition of the bulbs would have occurred in the process of expanding garlic cultivation. In conclusion, garlic seems to have obtained high environmental adaptability with these transitions and changes via artificial selection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science