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by Vincent Battesti, Muriel Gros-Balthazard, Matthieu Breil, Sarah Ivorra, Sylvie Ferrand, Jean-Frédéric Terral

Production of a report for Afalula (French Agency for the Development of al-Ula):
Is Barnī, a date palm cultivated in the oasis of al-‘Ulā, a true-to-type cultivar or an ethnovariety? Arguments from ethnographic and genetic data
Battesti, Vincent, Muriel Gros-Balthazard, Matthieu Breil, Sarah Ivorra, Sylvie Ferrand & Jean-Frédéric Terral
Project — Ethnographic, genetic, and morphometric analyses of the date palm agrobiodiversity in al-‘Ulā oasis
AFALULA, Paris, 17 p.
February 2nd, 2021

\confidential report\

Barnī is the main variety of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) grown in the oasis of al-‘Ulā and its region. The aim of this study is to check the status of this date palm and precisely to identify whether it is a true-to-type cultivar or an ethnovariety, i.e. if its local identity, given by the farmers, corresponds to a unique genetic identity (and therefore locally reproduced always vegetatively) or if it refers to a multiplicity of genetic forms. Following whole genome resequencing, our population genetic analyses show that Barnī is a true-to- type cultivar in al-‘Ulā and nearby palm groves.

A “bustān”, a garden in the old palm grove (Ḥelf side) of the core area of al-‘Ulā oasis, KSA, April 15th, 2019, by Vincent Battesti
© Vinent Battesti