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Phenological Growth stages of saffron Plant (Crocus sativus L.) according to the BBCH Scale


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Phenological studies are important for understanding the influence of climate dynamics on vegetative growth, flowering and fruiting on plants and can be used in many scientific subjects, such as Agronomy, Botany and Plant Biology, but also Climatology as a result of the current global interest in climate change monitoring. The purpose of the detailed specific culture descriptions of the principal growth stages in plants is to provide an instrument for standardization of data recording. To date, there was no coding method to describe developmental stages on saffron plant (Crocus sativus L.). Because of the increasing world-wide interest on this crop, a novel growth development code based on the BBCH extended scale is proposed in this paper. Six principal growth stages were set up, starting from sprouting, cataphylls and flowers appearance, plant appearance and development, replacement corms development, plant senescence and corm dormancy. Each principal growth stage is subdivided into secondary growth stages. Descriptive keys with illustrations are included to make effective use of the system.
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Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research
13(3), e09SC01, 7 pages (2015)
eISSN: 2171-9292
Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA)
Phenological growth stages of saffron plant (Crocus sativus L.)
according to the BBCH Scale
Horacio Lopez-Corcoles1, Antonio Brasa-Ramos2, Francisco Montero-García2, Miguel Romero-Valverde2
and Francisco Montero-Riquelme2
1 Instituto Técnico Agronómico Provincial de Albacete (ITAP), Pol. Campollano. Avda. 2ª, 42-B. 02007 Albacete, Spain.
2 Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, ETSIAM, Campus Universitario. 02071 Albacete, Spain.
Phenological studies are important for understanding the influence of climate dynamics on vegetative growth, flowering and
fruiting on plants and can be used in many scientific subjects, such as Agronomy, Botany and Plant Biology, but also Climatology
as a result of the current global interest in climate change monitoring. The purpose of the detailed specific culture descriptions of
the principal growth stages in plants is to provide an instrument for standardization of data recording. To date, there was no coding
method to describe developmental stages on saffron plant (Crocus sativus L.). Because of the increasing world-wide interest on this
crop, a novel growth development code based on the BBCH extended scale is proposed in this paper. Six principal growth stages
were set up, starting from sprouting, cataphylls and flowers appearance, plant appearance and development, replacement corms
development, plant senescence and corm dormancy. Each principal growth stage is subdivided into secondary growth stages.
Descriptive keys with illustrations are included to make effective use of the system.
Additional key words: developmental phases; replacement corm; nomophylls; cataphylls.
Citation: Lopez-Corcoles, H.; Brasa-Ramos, A.; Montero-García, F.; Romero-Valverde, M.; Montero-Riquelme, F. (2015). Short
communication. Phenological growth stages of saffron plant (Crocus sativus L.) according to the BBCH Scale. Spanish Journal of
Agricultural Research, Volume 13, Issue 3, e09SC01, 7 pages.
Received: 14 Jan 2015. Accepted: 21 Jul 2015
Copyright © 2015 INIA. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC by
3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this work.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Correspondence should be addressed to Horacio Lopez-Corcoles:
Saffron spice is obtained from dried stigmas of Cro-
cus sativus L. plant and it is appreciated because of its
colouring, flavouring and aroma capacity (Carmona et
al., 2006). It is the most expensive world-wide spice
and thus it has been called “the red gold” (Poggi, 2009).
Saffron-growing in Spain has been world-wide refer-
enced both in yield and quality; in fact, the best qual-
ity saffron spice is globally recognized to be produced
in the Region of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain (Carmona
et al., 2006). Seasonal weather changes are significant
in these Mediterranean climate areas, and saffron plants
have been able to develop survival mechanisms coping
with adverse conditions derived from higher or lower
temperatures as well as extreme drought events (Ware-
ing & Phillips, 1981; Pérez Bueno, 1988).
In cultivated plants, phenological studies have tra-
ditionally been carried out with the aim of agricultural
application to determine the optimal time to apply
fertilizers, crop protection products (herbicides, fungi-
cides and insecticides) and plant growth regulators,
pruning, pollination techniques, obtaining propagation
material and decision making for the best harvest time.
Until the early 1990s, there was not a homogeneous
code to describe the growth stages in most plants and
crops. Zadoks et al. (1974) published the first decimal
code aiming at standardizing the phenological develop-
ment stages description for similar cereal crops by
using the same codes. Further development derived in
the BBCH (Biologische Bundesanstalt, Bun-
dessortenamt und Chemische Industrie) scale proposed
by Bleiholder et al. (1989) and in the extended BBCH-
scale proposed by Hack et al. (1992). Since then, the
extended BBCH-scale has become a world-wide coding
system commonly used to integrate phenology in ag-
ricultural, horticultural, environmental and meteorol-
ogy and climatic studies (Meier et al., 2009). It has
been broadly accepted for its use in many crops like
cereals (Lancashire et al., 1991), sugar beet (Meier et
H. Lopez-Corcoles, A. Brasa-Ramos, F. Montero-García, M. Romero-Valverde and F. Montero-Riquelme
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research September 2015 • Volume 13 • Issue 3 • e09SC01
al., 1993) or Citrus spp. (Agustí et al., 1997). The
extended BBCH-scale is a system for a uniform coding
of phenologically similar growth stages of all mono-
and dicotyledonous plant species carried out by a work
team referenced by Enz & Dachler (1997). The entire
developmental cycle of the plants is subdivided into
ten clearly recognizable and distinguishable longer-
lasting developmental phases. These ten principal
growth stages alone are not sufficient to define ex-
actly application or evaluation dates, since they always
describe time spans in the course of the development
of a plant. Secondary stages are used if points of time
or steps in the plant development must be indicated
precisely. In contrast to the principal growth stages they
are defined as short developmental steps characteristic
of the respective plant species, which are passed suc-
cessively during the respective principal growth stage.
They are also coded by using a second digit with fig-
ures from 0 to 9.
The characterization of the phenological stages is
essential for saffron crop production since cultural
practices such as application of crop protection prod-
ucts and herbicides, transplanting and tillage rely to a
large extent on correctly checking certain stages (Vela
et al., 2013). Several authors have deeply described the
morphology and annual cycle of saffron plant (Chrun-
goo et al., 1983; Botella et al., 2002; Carmona et al.,
2006; Poggi, 2009) whilst Molina et al. (2005) codified
the phenological stages of saffron inflorescence buds.
Nevertheless, there are currently no universally used
keys to describe the entire development cycle of this
ITAP (Agronomy Technical Institute of Albacete)
and the University of Castilla-La Mancha have been
working on agronomy research of saffron crop since
1994, particularly on plant breeding, pathology, me-
chanic cultivation practices, corm processing and
flower forcing methods, as related to its influence on
saffron spice quality (ITAP, 2013). Basing on this back-
ground, the objective of this paper was to describe the
phenological growth and developmental stages of saf-
fron plant according to the extended BBCH-scale to
effectively supplement other studies on saffron cultiva-
The study of saffron plant phenology described in
this paper is based on twenty years field observation
records (from 1993 to 2013) which were collected from
many farming crops and many field experiments, with
plant material of different ages and cultivated at dif-
ferent sites across the Albacete province, Spain (lat. of
38.7 ± 0.75ºN; elevation range: 610–870 m asl), by the
ITAP Department of Agricultural Technology Extension
and Transfer (ITAP, 2013). A field experiment was car-
ried out in the campaign 2012-13 to better describe in
detail the phenological stages of the saffron plant. The
sample plot was located in a traditional farming area
of Balazote, Spain (lat. 38º55’N, long. 02º06’W, 740
masl), under continental mediterranean climate condi-
tions, with winters of type avena/oats warm and sum-
mers of type maize; the temperature regime is temper-
ate to warm and the humidity regime is dry
mediterranean (Papadakis, 1961). The soil is classified
as Haplic-calcisol in the FAO system and Typic-Cal-
cixerept according to USDA.
The sampling plot was representatively selected from
traditional farms growing saffron crop for commercial
use. It was planted in September 2011 on a 6,000 m2
plot, according to proper tillage commonly used in the
area (de Juan & Lozano, 1991). Corms were planted at
15 cm depth in rows 50 cm apart and planting density
of 40 plants/m2. Planting material derived from local
ecotypes of saffron corms. Although the farm has sprin-
kler irrigation infrastructure, it was never used during
this trial because the rainfall (248.5 mm) from Novem-
ber to April was sufficient to cope with the crop water
requirements. Phenology observation was carried out
daily over the whole plot. The phenological stage was
assigned as that of most of the plants, in any case, at
least more than 50%, which had reached that stage
(López, 2004) and the most representative plants were
photographed to describe the most significant pheno-
logical stages. Furthermore, destructive data collection
was recorded every fortnight, that is 13 sampling dates,
with three replicates, from October 1, 2012 to May 9,
2013, covering the period from sprouting up to senes-
cence of the above-ground plant part. Each sampling
consisted on pulling out all the entire plants, with the
exception of roots, in 0.5 × 0.4 m2 plots (10-12 sampled
plants) randomly delimited.
With a view to unifying the criteria existing to de-
scribe the saffron plant cycle, the terms mother corm,
replacement corm or daughter corm and cataphyll are
utilized in this paper basing on Mathew (2003) and
Negbi (2003).
According to field observations and following the
basic principles of the extended BBCH-scale, a phe-
nological scale describing the entire developmental
cycle of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) is proposed.
The study of the biological cycle of saffron plant
starts with the corm in dormancy stage, apparently
showing neither morphological change, nor external
growth, although there do exist internal physiological
and morphogenetic changes (Le Nard & De Hertogh,
1993). Once the corm leaves the dormancy, fibrous
caulogenic roots form a root plate at the base, one or
more shoots subsequently emerge with the leaves and
flowers wrapped by the cataphylls. This currently hap-
pen under the case study environmental conditions from
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research September 2015 • Volume 13 • Issue 3 • e09SC01
Short communication: Phenological stages of saffron plant according to the BBCH Scale
Table 1. Growth stages of saffron plant following the extended BBCH-scale
Stage Principal
growth stage Sub-stage Secondary growth stage
0 Sprouting
00 Dormant mother corm. Apical and lateral sprouts are not developed yet.
01 Beginning of bud swelling.
03 Bud swelling complete
05 Roots appearing from the corm.
07 Beginning of bud sprouting.
08 Shoots visible under the soil surface.
09 Emergence: Shoots (cataphylls) breaking through soil surface.
1 Leaf development (assessed at plant level)
10 Leaves (nomophylls) sprouting and unfolding from cataphylls.
11 Leaves (nomophylls) growth at 10% of nal length.
12 Leaves (nomophylls) growth at 20% of nal length.
1X Leaves (nomophylls) growth at X0% of nal length, continues with the same
scheme until sub-stage 18
19 Leaves (nomophylls) growth at 90% of nal length.
4 Development of replacement corms
41 Growth of replacement corms at 10% of nal size.
42 Growth of replacement corms at 20% of nal size.
4X Growth of replacement corms at X0% of nal size, continues with the same
scheme until sub-stage 48.
49 Growth of replacement corms at 90% of nal size.
5Appearance of ower cataphylls
50 Beginning of ower cataphylls. Stigmata are visible at the basal part of the
55 Flower cataphylls emerging.
57 Flower cataphylls visible above ground, enveloped by its bracts.
59 Flower cataphylls still closed.
6 Flowering
60 First ower tepals visible.
61 10% of maximum ower mass reached.
63 30% of maximum ower mass reached.
65 50% of maximum ower mass reached.
67 70% of maximum ower mass reached.
69 End of owering.
9 Plant senescence
91 Leaves (nomophylls) development completed, foliage still green.
93 Leaves (nomophylls) apices beginning to discolour.
95 50% of leaves yellowish.
96 Roots have dried out and can fall easily.
97 Leaves senescence. Leaves fully discoloured and beginning plant resting.
Mother corm fully dry.
98 Leaves fall off the corm.
99 Replacement corms fully formed.
H. Lopez-Corcoles, A. Brasa-Ramos, F. Montero-García, M. Romero-Valverde and F. Montero-Riquelme
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research September 2015 • Volume 13 • Issue 3 • e09SC01
00 05 07 09
10 55 60 61
Figure 1. Selected principal and secondary phenological growth stages of annual cycle of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) corresponding
to sprouting (0: 00, 05, 07, 09), leaf development (1: 10), appearance of ower cataphylls (5: 55), owering (6: 60, 61, 65, 69) and
senescence (9: 97), according to the extended BBCH-scale.
65 69 97
the second fortnight of October on. The above-ground
plant growth derived from sprouting is due to available
reserves in the corm. Flowering occurs from the second
fortnight of October to the first fortnight of November
(ITAP, 2013), and previously to leaf appearance or
simultaneously, since saffron is a hysteranthous plant
(Plessner et al., 1989) whose flowers open before its
leaves depending on the environmental conditions
(Mathew, 1982). Later on, leaves and roots keep on
growing along the period of vegetative activity (Oromí,
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research September 2015 • Volume 13 • Issue 3 • e09SC01
Short communication: Phenological stages of saffron plant according to the BBCH Scale
Figure 2. Scheme of the annual cycle and the principal growth stages of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) on a monthly basis, according
to the extended BBCH-scale in Albacete, Spain, based on ITAP (2013). The dash line shows the trend of leaf mass (%) and the dot
line, the trend of corm mass (%).
1. Leaf development
4. Development of replacement corms
6. Flowering 5.
9. Beginning of dormancy
0. Sprouting
Mass of leaves
November-March April-May
June June September October
Mass of replacement corms
01 05 09 10 11 13 15 17 19 91 93 95 97 99
47 494341
61 62 64 66 68 69
1992). The base of shoots begins to swell forming the
daughter corms while the mother corm depletes its
reserves. In spring, as diurnal temperatures increase
and soil moisture decrease, the mother corm roots die
and break away, photoassimilates move from the leaves
to the corms and the leaves start to senescence from
the apex to the base; the daughter corms are fully de-
veloped and ready for latency.
For the saffron plant, growth begins with bud swell-
ing and sprouting. The vegetative period is represented
by three principal growth stages corresponding to leaf
development, development of replacement corms and
plant senescence. The reproductive period covers ap-
pearance of flower cataphylls and flowering.
Some stages of the extended BBCH scale do not
apply to saffron plant and must be omitted, like BBCH
stage 2 which is related to the formation of side shoots
or tillering, BBCH stage 3, which relates to stem elon-
gation or rosette growth or shoot development (main
shoot) and finally BBCH stages 7 and 8 which are
related to the development and ripening of the fruit/
seeds respectively, since Crocus sativus L. is a sterile
triploid form making its flowers unable to produce vi-
able seeds for independent sexual reproduction.
Secondary growth stages are referred to by a second
digit in the code (numbered from 0 to 9) and corre-
spond to ordinal or percentage values of plant develop-
ment. For example, for corms development (stage 4),
the scale represented the growth share (%) related to
the final size.
Hence, the extended BBCH-scale proposed for saf-
fron plant only considers 6 out of the 10 principal
growth stages, starting with Sprouting (Stage 0) and
ending with Beginning of dormancy (Stage 9). Four
principal growth stages are involved in vegetative de-
velopment: Sprouting (Stage 0), Leaf development
(Stage 1), Development of replacement corms (Stage 4)
and Plant senescence (Stage 9). The remaining two
principal stages are related to flowering: Appearance
of flower cataphylls (Stage 5) and Flowering (Stage 6).
The entire phenological cycle identified for saffron
plant is characterized in Table 1. It is highly recom-
mended to follow this key with Figures 1 and 2, show-
ing the annual cycle of saffron plant following the
extended BBCH-scale as proposed. Figure 2 shows that
some stages overlap or run concurrently in the saffron
plant cycle (for instance, leaf appearance and flower-
ing, among others); thus, it is recommended that both
stages should be noted separating their codes by a
forward slash.
Álvarez-Ortí et al. (2003) already described the
phenological cycle into six stages according to the
H. Lopez-Corcoles, A. Brasa-Ramos, F. Montero-García, M. Romero-Valverde and F. Montero-Riquelme
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research September 2015 • Volume 13 • Issue 3 • e09SC01
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observed, although this classification suits the plant
cycle, it is not scaled nor coded for agricultural ap-
plications. The BBCH scale proposed in this paper
for saffron plant will help farmers and technicians
to efficiently cultivate and manage saffron crop.
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the growth and development stages regardless the
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and Russia, Kashmir or Israel. In Spain it happens
in April-May and flower organs are formed in June-
July (ITAP, 2013). Crop practices scheduling might
be compared and adapted to local situations accord-
ing to regular phenological codes. It must be outlined
that there is variability in dating and duration of the
presented growth stages in the study area, but these
are mainly due to different agronomy and climate
conditions and not to local ecotypes of saffron which
are not present in Spain so far (Alonso et al., 2007).
The extended BBCH-scale for saffron plant is intro-
duced in this paper for the first time. It can be broadly
applicable because it describes the total of six principal
phenological stages for sprouting (stage 0), leaf ap-
pearance (stage 1), replacement corm development
(stage 4), flower cataphylls appearance (stage 5), flow-
ering (stage 6) and beginning of dormancy (stage 9).
These data should facilitate more effective management
of saffron orchards, defining the optimal time to carry
out the different agricultural tasks and particularly ir-
rigation practices, because the crop coefficients are
directly related to the phenological stages.
This paper is the result of the work carried out under
different research projects led by Prof. Dr. José Arturo
de Juan Valero† (in memoriam), with resources and
facilities provided by the University of Castilla-La
Mancha and the ITAP (Agronomy Technical Institute
of Albacete, Spain).We are also grateful for the com-
ments and suggestions of reviewers.
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... In this research, phenology, yield and yield components were investigated. Plant phenology was assessed via days to sprouting, flower emergence, full flower opening and plant senescence (Córcoles et al., 2015). Each plot was observed every 2-3 days to determine the dates, when the plants achieved the new development stage. ...
... The means with at least a similar letter in each column for each year had no significant different (Duncan 5%). (Córcoles et al., 2015). Hysteranthous refers to plants in which flowers appear before the leaves, depending on the environmental conditions (Negbi, 1999). ...
... Hysteranthous refers to plants in which flowers appear before the leaves, depending on the environmental conditions (Negbi, 1999). Later on, leaves and roots keep on growing along the period of vegetative activity (Córcoles et al., 2015). ...
In the current study the possibility of cultivating saffron (Crocus sativus L.) using semi-saline water at different planting dates was investigated. The salinity of irrigation water and soil were 2.9 and 5.8 dS m-1, respectively. The results showed that saffron had an acceptable potential for cultivation using semi-saline water in saline soils. The early planting dates went through the developmental stages of saffron faster, means saffron sown on early October sprouted earlier and flowers appeared faster and fully opened earlier. Nevertheless, plant senescence was the same in all planting dates. The highest sprouting and flowering percentage of corms in the first year was obtained in the early October planting dates in both years, which were matched with canopy temperature distribution. The highest weight of flowers, fresh and dry stigma were obtained on the 13 October planting date within the 3 years study reaching the maximum values during the third year. Electrolyte leakage was higher in the last planting date, while photosynthesis pigments were more in early to mid-October planting dates. These effects might be related to damage of freezing temperature in physiological processes. Shoot dry weight and water productivity were the highest in early October planting dates. The biomass of shoot in October 13 planting date was enough to be considered as a new forage source in semi-saline conditions. It seems that cultivation of saffron with semi-saline water is possible by considering a proper planting date, adequate leaching requirement and accurate irrigation management.
... The entire crop cycle of freesia was described and coded, and a phenological scale of 6 main development stages was proposed. This outcome is similar to the phenological description of saffron made by López-Corcoles et al. (2015). ...
... The methodology used for coding and describing the sprouting stage in the lab was in agreement with the one used Schwab et al. (2015), but differed from the one proposed by López-Corcoles et al. (2015) and López-Bellido et al. (2016), when studying bulbs of other geophytes. These authors collected samples from field trials, and dissected vegetative propagation material to observe the sprouting stage. ...
... The term "saffron" refers to a spice that is typically derived from the desiccated stigmas of the Crocus sativus plant, which has been predominantly cultivated for economic purposes since ancient times. Saffron holds the distinction of being the most expensive spice in the world and is often referred to as "red gold" [1,2]. The dried crimson stigmas of the Crocus flower are considered to be its most valuable component. ...
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Traditionally grown in soil, saffron cultivation has been plagued by limited arable land, variable climate conditions, and soil-borne diseases. Phenological studies of the crop during each of its growth stages are crucial for mitigating the detrimental consequences of climate change, to which saffron crop is extremely susceptible. These also help in anticipating the future farming systems that involve crop cultivation methods, irrigation, field, and crop management. In this study, we assess the adaptability of saffron to soilless cultivation. In order to evaluate the performance of saffron grown in soilless media, a crop experiment was carried out over the course of two years, beginning in 2020 and continuing into 2021. Bulbs were planted in plastic polytunnels under two experimental treatments viz. soil-based (PS1) and soilless (PS2), supplemented with adequate nutrients. To evaluate the performance of saffron in soilless culture and to compare it with protected soil-based cultivation, saffron growth indicators were measured a total of twenty-five times at intervals of around twenty days during the entire growing period. The study of growth indices demonstrated that the PS2 (protected soilless cultivation) outperformed PS1 (protected soil-based cultivation) in terms of growth of organs (foliage, roots, mother bulbs, daughter bulbs) and biomass accumulation. In light of these findings, it has been demonstrated that soilless cultivation can be an effective method for the production of saffron.
... The illustration of the life cycle and the principal development phases of red gold on a monthly source[Lopez- Corcoles et al. (2015)] ...
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Saffron or red gold (Crocus sativus L.) is the costliest aromatic and medicinal plant in the world. Saffron is utilized mainly as a spice for coloring and flavoring of food. Moreover, it is also used as an antioxidant, anticancer, anti-depressive, antitussive, anti-ischemic and anti-inflammatory effects. Agronomic and environmental factors can influence the morphological and anatomical traits of the saffron plants. Therefore, the study was performed to assess the impact of different NPK application rates on saffron plant development and yield. The potted experiment was performed utilizing a Completely randomized design (CRD) with five replications. It was found that the application of NPK treatments significantly influenced the total numbers of leaves per plant, leaf length, flower fresh weight and corm traits. Overall, it seems that applying NPK at 2 g/L can improve the agronomic traits and stigma production in saffron.
... Indeed, given its morphology and physiology, saffron is a rustic crop able to cope with severe weather conditions (Alizadeh et al., 2009;Molina et al., 2005). Its specific life cycle allows it to overcome the hostile season (summer), which coincides with its dormancy phase (Lopez-Corcoles et al., 2015;Alvarez-Orti et al., 2004). The interest in developing this crop is also explained by the possibilities it offers for using "marginal" or less fertile lands in fragile agro-ecosystems, such as those in rural and mountainous areas (Gresta et al., 2008). ...
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The saffron growing has emerged over the last decade in Algeria and has diffused in different agroclimatic regions, especially in the M'Zab valley and its periphery in the Saharan region of the country. This study sets out to analyze the emerging saffron value chain in the M’Zab valley and suggests strategic options for strengthening its development. The analysis was based on a case study. The methodology applied the tools of value chain analysis in its positive and normative dimensions: a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches based on the triangulation of data collection methods (interviews, secondary data collection, direct observations). A participatory approach was used to make a SWOT analysis and to propose strategies for developing the value chain. The results showed that the local saffron value chain has strengths (proftabilty and quality) and opportunities (growing demand of healthy and natural products), but its performance is limited by weaknesses (producers skills, marketing) and threats (Fraud or counterfeiting related to imported saffron) mainly related to the deficiencies in the institutional environment. Recommendations are made for elaborating a national saffron export strategy and building a competitive value chain able to take advantage of the expected growth in world demand.
... The type of mutagens, their concentrations and incubation times were calculated from previous studies (Khan et al., 2011;Zaffar et al., 2003). All the treatments were applied in the 16th of September 2017 when the buds were not dormant because based on the Córcoles, Ramos, García, Valverde, and Riquelme (2015) in this phenological stage, the buds were starting to swelling and sprout. Following the treatment of corms with mutagens, they were sowed at rows 30 cm apart at 25 cm intervals with a cultivation depth of 15-20 cm at the research farm of the Department of Horticultural Science and Landscape Engineering, University of Tehran Located in Mohammadshahr research station, Karaj, with a latitude of 36 degrees and 19 min north and a longitude of 59 degrees east and 38 min north and an altitude of 1320 m above sea level (Karaj-Iran). ...
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Crocus sativus L., also known as saffron, is one of the most important medicinal and spice plants throughout the world. The plant is a rich source of apocarotenoids such as crocetin esters, picrocrocin, and safranal.The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of colchicine and ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) mutagens on possible inducing new variation in C. sativus. Accordingly, corms were exposed to EMS (0.1% and 0.2%) and colchicine (0.05% and 0.025%) for three incubation times. The lowest survival rate of corms was related to EMS treatments. The relative expression of ALDH, BGL, and CCD2 genes under 0.025% colchicine treatment for 12 h revealed a 2 fold increase compared with the control. The flow cytometric measurements (FCM) of the nuclear DNA content of the colchicine-treated plants did not reveal any significant changes in 2C DNA content. The results, manifest the potential of mutagens to create new variations in the plant.
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Crocus sativus L. is known as an ornamental geophyte and a source of valuable spice and secondary metabolites. Network preservation module analysis is one of the best approaches to revealing special features of different conditions. It can determine patterns of divergence and conservation between transcriptome data. Herein, we explored the regulatory genes of the flowering process by RNA-Seq data containing flowering and non-flowering samples in gene expression profiles. Persevered module analysis revealed three significant non-persevered modules related to the flowering process, namely pink, green, and blue. Several hub genes associated with non-preserved modules such as PIA1, NAC90, ALY3, Sus3, MYB31, ARF5/MP, MYB31, HD-ZIP, SEP3d, OR_B, AGL6a, bZIP(TGA1) and GRAS were identified. These candidate genes can be considered key diagnostic biomarkers for the flowering process. Here, we also compare two approaches, WGCNA and NetRep for module preservation analysis. Totally, the results of these methods were consistent with non-preserved modules. NetRep was a faster (11 times) and more efficient (run more than 10000 permutations for each comparison) method than WGCNA module preservation. Differential expression genes (DEGs) screening showed that many hub genes were downregulated in non-flowering than flowering samples. Our finding revealed regulatory mechanisms of the flowering process in C. sativus as can be developed transcriptional biomarkers which could pave the way for promoting saffron yield via flowering induction.
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Saffron (Crocus sativus) is often referred to as the golden condiment and is known for its economical and medicinal value. C. sativus is a sterile triploid plant being propagated by vegetative propagation and therefore is reported to lack genetic variation based on the available molecular markers. Despite its economical importance, the omics information of this plant is scarce with few transcriptome and molecular markers studies. Whole genome of C. sativus was recently sequenced and assembled using Illumina sequencing technology. The genome size was estimated to be 3.5 Gb using flow cytometry and the de-novo draft genome was 3.0 Gb long covering 84.24% of the genome with an N50 value of 1860. The genome was annotated and 53,546 functional genes were identified from the C. sativus genome. In addition, repetitive regions (862,275), SSR (964,231), transcription factors (5726), and metabolic pathways (395) were identified from the C. sativus genome. Orthology analysis of C. sativus was performed against four plant species wherein the C. sativus was found phylogenetically closer to Asparagus officinalis. The draft genome can be used as the reference genome for future studies and can provide a valuable genomic resource for the research community.Keywords Crocus sativus De-novo genome assemblyApocarotene biosynthesis pathwayMYB TfsSSR markersOrthology analysis
Saffron, one of the most expensive spices, is constantly in demand by the consumers. Due to its complex nature, the cultivation of saffron is limited to its special geographical region. Being a subterranean crop, it is highly susceptible to a number of diseases caused by several pathogens leading to severe loss in flower quality, stigma production, and overall yield. There is a vast genetic diversity of the microbes affecting saffron including both the disease-causing as well as the friendly microbiota present in the soil. Several strategies have been employed to protect the crop from pathogenesis, including commercial methods, intrinsic and extrinsic defense responses, nanoformulated agrochemicals for targeted delivery, and developing sensors for early diagnosis of the pathogen or diseases, including integrated “omic” approaches. This chapter aims to provide an overview of saffron and its cultivation practices, various pathogens associated, their genetic diversity, management strategies, and other new technologies that can be involved in order to improve the saffron quality and productivity.Keywords Crocus sativus PathogensDefense mechanismsCultivation practicesNanotechnologyOmics approaches
La culture du safran (Crocus sativus L.) suscite un intérêt parmi les agriculteurs algériens. Dont c’est une épice raffinée demande du temps et de patience pour la produire, ce qui lui confère une certaine valeur. Les connaissances pour cette production sont encore très pauvres, c’est pourquoi on a choisi d’étudier les technico-culturale de safran dans la région de Hamadia wilaya de Tiaret. Des essais de calibre des cormes planté dans la zone d’étude et une observation sur des calibres des bulbes fils de 2 à 14 cm pour prévoir les rendements de la culture dans la même année.
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The corm occupies a central position in saffron life cycle, as it is the vegetative organ that accumulates reserves for sprouting after dormancy periods. Until now, not much is known about the physiology of the corm and its gene expression pattern. In an attempt to obtain information about this organ, six developmental stages were defined in the corm and analysed two of them, generating 650 partial complementary DNA sequences (expressed sequence tags, ESTs) from two cDNA libraries constructed from corms. In the first one, at a stage characterized by storage accumulation and corm growth (C3), a remarkable amount of sequences with similarity to genes related to cell growth; protein synthesis, folding and degradation; transcription factors; and proteins related to the formation and maintenance of cell wall and other cellular structures were found. Furthermore, many sequences with similarity to genes involved in defence and stress responses, and to carbohydrate metabolism were detected. In the second library, from dormant corms (C4), a greater percentage of sequences with similarity to genes related to transport of nutrients and metabolites was present. In both libraries, a high percentage of sequences with no similarity in the public databases was found (36 % in C3 and 50 % in C4) remarking the lack of knowledge about gene expression in the corm.
Crocus sativus is a subhysteranthous species, ie it blooms in autumn shortly after planting, before, concomitantly with, or after leaf appearance. The remainder of its growing season consists of initiation, filling up, and maturation of the daughter corms at the beginning of summer. A controlled temperature regime during corm storage affects flowering and production of daughter corms. -from Authors