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Investigating the origin of hazelnut
(Corylus avellana L.) cultivars using
chloroplast microsatellite
ARTICLE in GENETIC RESOURCES AND CROP EVOLUTION · SEPTEMBER 2009
Impact Factor: 1.46 · DOI: 10.1007/s10722-009-9406-6

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Università degli Studi di Torino

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C. Hazelnut appears to have been domesticated independently in three areas: the Mediterranean. which were selected over many centuries from local wild populations (Trotter 1921. Romania.000 years B. Thompson et al. and Iran were analysed using 13 chloroplast microsatellite to investigate the origin and diffusion of hazelnut cultivars.Genet Resour Crop Evol (2009) 56:851–859 DOI 10. avellana L.1%. 75 accessions from Spain. restricted to the Balkans. and Iran was observed. France. Turkey. Torino. Georgia.boccacci@unito. Via Leonardo da Vinci 44. was established about 7. 2009 Abstract The place and time of European hazel (Corylus avellana L. colurna L.it Keywords Chlorotype  Corylus avellana  cpSSR  Cultivar diffusion  Cultivation  Domestication  Filbert Introduction In Europe. Moreover. Italy. Turkey. In this study. Azerbaijan.8%. avellana L. The most frequent chlorotype A was present in all groups. Results suggest that some spread of cultivars occurred from East to West and that hazelnut cultivation was not introduced from the eastern Mediterranean basin into Spain and southern Italy by Greeks or Arabs. About 90% of the world crop is used as kernels in the food industry. China.. and Spain fourth with 2.) domestication is not clear. two different Corylus species are present: the European hazel. It is the source of important cultivars in Europe and Turkey. that has a wide distribution. as result of a 123 . probably by the Romans. Tasias Valls 1975. Turkey. P. and eastward to the Ural Mountains of Russia. although it was already cultivated by the Romans. The geographical distribution of the European hazel extends from the Mediterranean coast of North Africa northward to the British Islands and the Scandinavian peninsula. The present-day distribution of C.V. Botta Dipartimento di Colture Arboree.. the results suggest considerable exchange of germplasm between Italy and Spain.) cultivars using chloroplast microsatellites Paolo Boccacci Æ Roberto Botta Received: 14 July 2008 / Accepted: 12 January 2009 / Published online: 31 January 2009  Springer Science+Business Media B. and Lebanon (Kasapligil 1972). and Greece are other producers (FAOstat 2008). Boccacci (&)  R. while the remaining 10% is sold in-shell for fresh consumption. the Caucasus Mountains. and the Turkish hazel. 1996). and Iran. Iran. 10095 Grugliasco.. Their distribution was not uniform in each geographical group. C. Universita` degli Studi di Torino.1007/s10722-009-9406-6 RESEARCH ARTICLE Investigating the origin of hazelnut (Corylus avellana L. Italy is second with over 13%. Italy e-mail: paolo. Iran. accounting for about 71% of world production. and northern Turkey (Thompson et al. Turkey has long been the leading producer and exporter of hazelnuts. An increase in chlorotype number and diversity from Spain eastward to Italy. Four loci were polymorphic and identified a total of four different chlorotypes. the United States third with 4.P. 1996).

The most plausible explanation for this increase is a very rapid spread of hazel (1. During the spread of agriculture in Europe. Ghanbari et al. Between 10. although it was cultivated by the Romans (Trotter 1921. such as grape (ArroyoGarcı´a et al. Italy). The chloroplast genome has a lower evolutionary rate than the nuclear genome. Arroyo-Garcı´a et al. However. 2008).fr/Cytofor/Maps/index. Huntley and Birks (1983) suggested that southern Italy and the area around the Bay of Biscay (southwestern France) were the most important refugia. In several Mesolithic archaeological findings. Archaeologists have repeatedly retrieved nuts. (Bassil et al. pierroton. 2008). Cooperativa San Colombano (Genova. indicating that hazelnuts were cracked for consumption or some kind of nut-processing (Bakels 1991. 2003. During the most recent glaciation hazel was restricted to glacial refugia in southern Europe. and suggested the parentage for several cultivars (Boccacci et al. Zohary and Hopf 2001). avellana L. avellana L. 123 Genet Resour Crop Evol (2009) 56:851–859 In recent years. Moreover. intentionally or more likely accidentally. Cleary 2003. the amount of Corylus pollen found across Europe sharply increased (http://www. inheritance is maternal in angiosperms (Dumolin et al. a total of 75 genotypes from four different geographical regions were analysed using cpSSR markers to investigate the history of hazelnut cultivation and diffusion. 2006. Arroyo-Garcı´a et al. Nut dispersal during the postglacial recolonization was caused by animals (small mammals and birds) and human migration. 2006) and olive (Breton et al. identified accessions with identical fingerprints. 2005. Boccacci et al.inra. but low levels of pollen were deposited in central Europe during the full glacial period (Bennett et al. 2002).P. Istituto di Frutti- . Nevertheless. Go¨kirmak et al. and then a local expansion in the latter two areas. 2006. C. 1995. In the present work. (2008) concluded that cultivars from Italy and Spain are genetically related. White 1970. Sˇosˇtaric´ et al. Imazio et al. Kubiak-Martens 1999). the availability of nuclear microsatellite or simple sequence repeat (nSSR) markers in C. Materials and methods Plant material and DNA extraction Seventy-five hazelnut accessions were sampled in field collections assembled by the Dipartimento di Colture Arboree of Torino (Italy). and shell remains from many Neolithic.) could have aided. In particular. the spread of hazel.html). Chloroplast SSR (cpSSR) markers have been developed in recent years (Provan et al. Schmidl et al. the usefulness of cpSSRs as molecular markers to study genetic relationships among hazelnut cultivars was evaluated.000 years B. Russel-White 1995. On the contrary. Recent analysis of chloroplast DNA variation (Palme´ and Vendramin 2002) indicates a rapid expansion from one large refugium in the Biscay area or from several scattered refugia in western Europe into most of Europe. 2005) provide new possibilities to investigate the breeding history of hazelnut cultivars.000 years earlier (Huntley and Birks 1983). was one of the species domesticated and cultivated (Forni 1990. abundant nutshell fragments have been recorded. 2005a.500 m/year) from these refugia (Huntley and Birks 1983. Pen˜a-Chocarro et al. kernels.P. there is no evidence that they attempted to propagate it (Tallantire 2002). indicating little gene flow between the eastern and western areas of the Mediterranean basin. 1991). Bronze Age.000 years B. Turkish cultivars constitute a separate germplasm group. 2007). 2005. 2002. 2008. (2006) and Go¨kirmak et al. where and when the domestication of C. Go¨kirmak et al. Although its inheritance is paternal in conifers (Vendramin and Ziegenhagen 1997). Birks 1989). 2006). Vaughan and Geissler 1997). 2005. Thus in angiosperms the chloroplast genome can only be disseminated by seeds or cuttings.000 and 9. Arobba et al. 2001) and have been used to investigate the origin and diffusion of several fruit tree species. Most likely the expansion of the hazelnut distribution was due to chance spread during the preparation of ‘‘hazelnut meals’’ by migratory Mesolithic people (Kuster 2000). avellana L. b. Classical. These studies investigated genetic relationships among cultivars grown in important production areas. 2005. A prevalent opinion is that Mesolithic tribes (10. and Medieval sites all over Europe (Bakels 1991. except southern-central Italy and the Balkans.000–6. Boccacci et al.852 postglacial recolonization process starting approximately 11. nSSR loci have been used to fingerprint and to identify mistakes in hazelnut accessions from several germplasm repositories (Botta et al. was started is not yet clear.

(iv) Group Iran is composed of 10 accessions from Iran. respectively. Spain). ccmp2. ccmp5. whereas two variants were found at loci ccmp3. USA). Eight loci (ccmp1. and ccmp10. UK). 2.5 lM of each primer. PCR amplification was carried out using a reaction mixture (20 ll) consisting of 50 ng DNA template. and ‘Tombul Ghiaghli’). seven grown in the Black Sea coastal provinces of northern Turkey. 2 ll 109 NH4 buffer 853 [160 mM (NH4)2SO4. Foster City. ccmp6. The cultivars were assigned to four groups on the basis of their country of origin (Table 1). nine of 13 cpSSR loci were monomorphic. (i) Group Spain is composed by 33 cultivars grown in the province of Tarragona (Catalonia. Results cpSSR polymorphism and chlorotype definition In the 75 hazelnut genotypes.8 at 25C). 2 mM MgCl2. 1999).000. The primer pairs were those designed by these authors for Nicotiana tabacum L.25 M NaCl. Results of the run were processed with Genescan software and allele sizes (in base pairs. bp) were estimated using a GeneScan-350 ROX size standard (Applied Biosystems). Cultivars with a direct parental relationship were excluded. National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) of Corvallis (Oregon. cpSSR analysis and data elaboration A total of thirteen cpSSR loci were analysed.5 U BioTaq DNA polymerase (Bioline. London. and a final 10 min extension step at 72C. as were synonyms. (ii) Group Italy includes 22 cultivars grown in different Italian regions: Piedmont and Liguria (northwestern Italy). ccmp4. Low levels of variation were detected with the other four loci (Table 2). and ccmp10 are useful loci for studying genetic variability in C. and Seed and Plant Improvement Institute (SPII) of Kamal-Abad (Iran). 0. Consiglio per la Ricerca e Sperimentazione in Agricoltura (CRA) of Roma and Caserta (Italy). except ‘Casina’. 670 mM Tris–HCl (pH 8..2 g of leaves or immature catkins using the modified procedure described by Thomas et al. (2004). avellana L. and Castanea sativa Mill. Total genomic DNA was extracted from 0.2 M Tris pH 7. The same set of cpSSR loci was also polymorphic in 26 natural hazel populations (Palme´ and Vendramin 2002). and 0.Genet Resour Crop Evol (2009) 56:851–859 viticoltura of Piacenza (Italy).6. 0. (2005. 1). cmcs13) were described by Sebastiani et al. Amplified fragments were loaded onto a polyacrylamide gel and run on a semi-automated ABI-PRISM 377 sequencer (Applied Biosystems. and 0. ‘Sivri Ghiaghli’. 0. which is from Asturias (northern coast of Spain). Locus ccmp2 showed three different size variants. ccmp7. Considering the allele variants at the four loci. Calif. Latium (central Italy). 2008) and Ghanbari et al. and 90 s of extension at 72C. 4. four different chlorotypes were detected (Table 3) and their relationships were analysed under a network model (Fig. (1993) in a Tris–EDTA–NaCl buffer containing 0. Numbers of chlorotypes (N) were directly estimated for each cultivar group. USA). The allele variations differed by increments of 1 bp due to variation in the number of A or T residues within mononucleotide repeats.05 M Na2EDTA. cmcs2. (2005) using nSSR markers.1% b-mercaptoethanol. After purification. and Campania and Sicily (southern Italy). where gi is the frequency of the i-th chlorotype and n is the number of individuals analysed in each cultivar groups (Nei 1987). The chlorotype network indicated the minimum number of evolutionary events separating each chlorotype. An unbiased estimate of the was calculated as:  chlorotype diversity  H ¼ n=ðn  1Þ 1  Rg2i . Thus. and five loci (cmcs1.. cmcs11. Chlorotypes B and D were 123 . ccmp2. 45 s of annealing at 55C. ccmp4.1% Tween-20]. cmcs4. ccmp10) were described by Weising and Gardner (1999). and three cultivated in Greece (‘Extra Ghiaghli’. ccmp3. ccmp4. (iii) Group Turkey is represented by ten cultivars of Turkish origin. A chlorotype median network was constructed using the program Network v. then 28 cycles of 30 s of denaturation at 95C. All cpSSR amplifications were performed using the following temperature profiles: 3 min of denaturation at 95C.5 (Bandelt et al.5% PVP 40. Chlorotype A was the most frequent in the 75 cultivars. 0. northeastern Spain). Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimenta`ries (IRTA) of Constantı´ (Tarragona. 200 lM dNTPs. Trueness-to-type of the accessions was previously verified by Boccacci et al. ccmp3. the DNA was suspended in 50 ll Tris– EDTA buffer.

Grossal) DCA A Ribet IRTA A Gironenc (syn. Vermellet) NCGR A Ros IRTA A Grifoll IRTA A Rosset IRTA A Lluenta IRTA A Sant Jaume IRTA A Martorella IRTA A Sant Joan IRTA A Morell DCA A Sant Pere IRTA A Cultivar Collectiona Chlorotype Group Spain (33 cultivars) Negret IRTA A Segorbe IRTA A Negret capellut Negret garrofı` IRTA A Trenet IRTA A IRTA A Vimbodı` IRTA A Pauetet DCA A Group Italy (22 cultivars) Camponica DCA A Nocchione DCA A Catainetto Coop A Noscello Coop A Del Rosso Coop A Nociara DCA A Dell’Orto Coop A Riccia di Talanico CRA A Ghirara DCA A San Giovanni DCA A Gianchetta IFP A Tonda bianca DCA D Iannusa Racinante DCA A Tonda di Giffoni DCA A Menoia IFP A Tonda Gentile delle Langhe DCA A Mortarella DCA A Tonda Gentile Romana CRA A Napoletana DCA A Tonda rossa CRA D Napoletanedda CRA A Trietta IFP A Badem IRTA A Palaz DCA B Extra Ghiaghli IRTA A Sivri IRTA A Imperial de Trebizonde (syn.854 Genet Resour Crop Evol (2009) 56:851–859 Table 1 List of accessions. Barcelona) DCA A Queixal de ruc IRTA A Closca molla Culpla` DCA A IRTA A DCA A Ratllada Ratolı` IRTA A Gironell (syn. germplasm collections. Karidaty) Incekara DCA IRTA B B Sivri Ghiaghli Tombul NCGR IRTA B A Kalinkara NCGR B Tombul Ghiaghli NCGR B Asle Gharebag SPII C Pashmineh SPII C Dobooseh SPII A Rasmi SPII C Jorow Gharebag SPII C Shastak-2 SPII C Mish-pestan SPII C Shirvani SPII C Group Turkey (10 cultivars) Group Iran (10 cultivars) 123 . and chlorotypes observed in 75 hazelnut cultivars Collectiona Chlorotype Cultivar Ametllenca IRTA A Pinyolenc IRTA A Apegalos Artellet IRTA IRTA A A Planeta Punxenc IRTA IRTA A A Casina DCA A Queixal de llop IRTA A Castanyera (syn.

000 0.800) 8 (0. These data showed that H increases from West to East in the Mediterranean basin. Dipartimento di Colture Arboree of Torino (Italy). unlike what was observed in grapevine by Imazio et al. (2005). Turkey. Cooperativa San Colombano (Genova. Chlorotype A was present in all groups with a decreasing frequency from Spain eastward to Italy. On the contrary.378 0. National Clonal Germplasm Repository of Corvallis (Oregon.600) 1 (0. and were absent in Spanish and Italian cultivars (Table 3).Genet Resour Crop Evol (2009) 56:851–859 855 Table 1 continued Cultivar Collectiona Chlorotype Cultivar Collectiona Chlorotype Nakhoni Rood SPII C Tabari Rood SPII B a DCA. ‘Tonda bianca’ and ‘Tonda rossa’. high H values were observed in groups Turkey (H = 0.027) N 1 2 2 3 4 H 0. Centro Ricerche e sperimentazione in Agricoltura of Roma and Caserta (Italy).400) 1 (0. In order to evaluate the chlorotype distribution in each analysed group. Seed and Plant Improvement Institute (Karaj. CRA.108) Chlorotype D – 2 (0.100) 7 (0. both of which are cultivated in Avellino province (Campania. respectively. was hypothesized on the basis of pollen records (Huntley and Birks 1983. The intermediate relationship of chlorotype A to the others suggests that it is likely the ancestral chlorotype of hazelnut cultivars. Iran) Table 2 Chlorotype genotypes at 13 cpSSR loci Chlorotype ccmp1 ccmp2 ccmp3 ccmp4 ccmp5 ccmp6 ccmp7 ccmp10 cmcs1 cmcs2 cmcs4 cmcs11 cmcs13 A 130 214 119 117 108 98 154 108 103 134 108 224 118 B 130 214 118 117 108 98 154 108 103 134 108 224 118 C D 130 130 215 216 118 119 117 116 108 108 98 98 154 154 108 107 103 103 134 134 108 108 224 224 118 118 Only four loci (ccmp2. and low in the Italian group. ccmp4. and ccmp10) were polymorphic and identified four chlorotypes Table 3 Chlorotype distribution in each geographical group (with chlorotype frequency in parentheses) n = number of samples. Spain). showed the rarest chlorotype D (Table 1). while chlorotype C was related only to chlorotype B. IFP. Chlorotype variation and distribution in the geographical groups The chlorotype distribution was not uniform in the four geographical groups (Table 3). SPII. Italy). H values were zero in the Spanish group. Chlorotypes B and C were mainly present in the groups Turkey and Iran.100) 58 (0. H = chlorotype diversity n Group Spain Group Italy Group Turkey Group Iran Total 33 22 10 10 75 Chlorotype A 33 (1. ccmp3. although a relatively fewer accessions from these groups were analysed. USA).533) and Iran (H = 0. avellana L. NCGR. Istituto di Frutticoltura of Piacenza (Italy).173 0.000) 20 (0.091) – – 2 (0. Birks 1989) and a recent analysis of 123 .391 associated with chlorotype A.094) Chlorotype C – – – 8 (0. Istitut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimenta`ries of Reus (Tarragona.378). Discussion The postglacial migration of C.909) 4 (0. It was observed in all 33 Spanish and 20 of 22 Italian accessions. IRTA. Coop. N = number of chlorotypes.533 0. a chlorotype diversity index (H) was calculated (Table 3).773) Chlorotype B – – 6 (0. and Iran (Table 3). southern Italy).

).). as well as . Circle areas are proportional to chlorotype frequencies obtained in all 75 samples analysed chloroplast DNA variation in wild hazelnuts (Palme´ and Vendramin 2002). On the contrary. In Cato’s (234–149 A. calvas. In addition. The cpSSR results of our analysis show an increase in chlorotype number and diversity from West to East. The place and time of hazel domestication is not clear. and other species to the local populations and eventually the Romans (Forni 1990). and D) identified in hazelnut. as both studies indicated a close genetic relationship between Spanish and Italian cultivars. olive.C. Kernels are tasty and have a high energy value (600– 680 kcal per 100 g fresh weight) due to their high fat and protein content. According to Tallantire (2002). Mesolithic tribes could have aided.D.C. and that Spanish and Italian accessions have a common genetic base. except for Italy and the Balkans where expansions were local. Alberghina 2002). These results suggest little gene flow from East to West.C. In the poetic texts (Eclogues and Georgics) of Virgil (70–19 B. Thus.) Naturalis Historia this species was reported in the list of the plants that grown on farms. According to Alfonso (1886) and other Sicilian authors. On the basis of this assertion. The nSSR analyses of Boccacci et al. In addition. Turkish cultivars were assigned to a separate cluster. Archaeobotanical remains indicate that hazel kernels have been an important constituent in the human diet since prehistoric times. indicating little gene flow between the eastern and western areas of the Mediterranean basin. Rosengarten 1984).D. Contacts and trade between eastern and western Mediterranean basin as long ago as the second half of the XVI century B. The common opinion is based on a statement of Pliny the Elder (23–79 A.. (2006) and Go¨kirmak et al. often in association with pastoral activities. 1 Chlorotype median network representing all chlorotypes (A. hazelnut cultivation was introduced to Sicily by Arabs.) De re rustica the hazelnut was mentioned as nux avellana.) De re rustica and Pliny’s (23–79 A.856 Fig. In Columella’s (I century A.) in the work Naturalis Historia that the hazelnut came from Asia Minor and Pontus (north coast of Turkey). the accepted general idea is that hazelnut cultivation was brought to Italy by the Greeks and that the specific epithet avellana derives from Abellina in western Asia. The most likely scenario is an expansion from southwestern France into most of Europe. whereas hazelnut was already cultivated in Campania (southern Italy) centuries earlier by the Romans (Trotter 1921). are documented through abundant archaeological findings dating back to the Mycenaean civilization (1500–1100 B. The colonization of the Italian peninsula by the Greeks (Magna Graecia) may have contributed to transfer of the cultivation techniques and cultivars of grape. hazelnut was mentioned in a mountainous context. (2008) support this hypothesis.D. and the author recommended cultivation on farms of ‘‘nuces. hazelnuts are easy to store and transport. a decrease in frequency of the most common chlorotype A from the groups Spain and Italy to Turkey and Iran was observed (Table 3). Evidence of the importance of hazelnut cultivation during the Roman civilization was reported in several Latin classics (Trotter 1921). B. Yet Arabs only dominated the island after the second half of the IX century A. they did not attempt to propagate it. the spread of hazel. avellanas. praenestinas et graecas’’. allegedly the present 123 Genet Resour Crop Evol (2009) 56:851–859 valley of Damascus (Trotter 1921.D. intentionally or more likely accidentally. C. both cpSSR and nSSR data indicate that hazelnut cultivation and cultivars were not introduced from the eastern Mediterranean basin into Spain and southern Italy by Greeks or by Arabs (Trotter 1921.D.

). The prevalence of chlorotype A in Spanish and Italian accessions suggests that southern Italy.P. it is probable that systematic cultivation and use of hazelnut was spread by the 123 .Genet Resour Crop Evol (2009) 56:851–859 in large-scale agricultural production. ubi abundant. These expressions derived from Abella and Abellinum. was an important centre of origin and diffusion of hazelnut cultivars. historical document. respectively. This suggests that the use of hazelnut was very likely spread throughout the empire by the 857 Romans. unlike the situation in grape and olive.) in the manuscript De re coquinaria reported a recipe for the preparation of a dessert similar to a nougat using hazelnuts and honey (Trotter 1921).) recommended the use of kernels as a cure for the common cold and persistent coughs (Rosengarten. the absence of chlorotypes B and C in the groups Spain and Italy suggests that hazelnut varieties were domesticated separately in Turkey and Iran. such as Tarragona (Tarraco). The historical documents and archaeological findings indicate that hazelnut cultivation and consumption were significant during the Roman period. archaeological. In addition. reported: ‘‘…sane coryli proprie dicuntur. the actual towns of Avella and Avellino in Campania. The Romans improved existing cities. Hazelnut was also mentioned in the alimentary or medicinal Latin literature. cpSSR and nSSR (Boccacci et al.fr/Cytofor/Maps/index. The presence of carbonized hazelnuts and the representation of hazel trees and nuts in wall paintings found in the excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum (Trotter 1921. and superimposed the latifundium on the local landholding system. nam abellanae ad Abellano (Abellino in other documents) Campaniae oppido. In fact. Dioskurides (I century A.C. as observed in chestnut by Conedera et al. in a comment to the Georgics poem by Virgil. Pollen maps indicate that in 2500 B. (http://www. the entrepreneurial management of agricultural estates using groups of slaves.D. The chlorotype distribution allowed us to hypothesize a possible geographical origin and diffusion of hazelnut cultivars.C. In the province of Tarragona (Catalonia. most likely the Campania region. In conclusion. where 88% of the Spanish hazelnut area is located. the Corylus pollen percentage was low in southern Italy (0–5%). Servius (III–IV century A. Moreover.pierroton. and palynological information indicates that the history of C. Apicius (14–37 A. with perhaps limited germplasm exchange with Italy and Spain. our results show the usefulness of chloroplast markers to study relationships among cultivars. it can be hypothesized that Italian hazelnut germplasm was spread by the Romans to the Iberian peninsula (150–100 B. nominatea sunt’’ (Trotter 1921).P.) during their expansion. the Latin world adopted the terms abellanae and abellinae to indicate the hazelnut tree and its fruit. In Palladius’s (IV–V century A. The presence of chlorotype A in all analysed groups (Table 3) indicates a common origin of the accessions.D. The latifundium. most likely in relation to an increase in human activity. the integration of genetic data with historical. where hazel was widely cultivated during Roman times. northeastern Spain). the intermediate relationship of chlorotype A to the others suggests that it could be an ancestral chlorotype (Fig. Thus. On the other hand. This supports the hypothesis that the Romans may have introduced the idea of systematically cultivating and using hazelnut in their dominions. started after the II century B. The geographical region which most Latin authors mention in relation to the cultivation of hazelnut was Campania. and pollen data already discussed support this hypothesis. (2004).html). 2006) results suggest that these exchanges were stronger and frequent between Italy and Spain. and then became widespread under Roman rule (Sirago 1995). Human migrations and trade between the central and western Mediterranean basin were also frequent after the Roman civilization. indicate that hazelnuts were consumed and commercialized also in areas relatively distant from the traditional cultivation centers. 1984).) Opus agriculturae a multiplication technique of hazelnut was briefly described.D. inra. but it increased to 5–10% around 2000 B.D. 1). Thus. in Latium and Campania regions. because southern Italy was dominated by the Spanish from the XIV to the XVIII century. Moreover.) and to a lesser extent to Asia Minor (133 B.C. respectively. our results indicate a very limited influence of the Greek hazelnut cultivation techniques on the Latin and subsequent Roman civilization. The archaeological findings. from which is derived the specific epithet avellana. avellana cultivation in Europe is similar to that of Castanea sativa Mill. Roman influence was strong.P. and to 10–15% around 1500 B. Other evidence of the importance of hazelnut production in this region during the Roman period are the archaeological remains and the pollen data. Jashemski 1970).

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