The globe artichoke [Cynara cardunculus L. var. scolymus (L.) Fiori] is a significant component of the Mediterranean agrarian economy, particularly in Italy, in which the genetic diversity represented by autochthonous germplasm is threatened by the growing use of imported varieties. In this view, the present work was focused on the selection and characterization of bio-agronomical characteristics and polyphenols content of 10 clones from Violetto di Sicilia, aimed at implementing an in situ conservation strategy of such autochthonous landrace. The broad sense heritability of traits showed the possibility to improve mainly the yield potential of the crop. We isolated some clones characterized by a superior heads yield (up to 50% higher than that of Violetto di Sicilia populations) and high level of total polyphenols. Finally, the observed variation in bio-agronomical characteristics and total polyphenols content offers an opportunity to improve the Violetto di Sicilia landrace, diversifying its possible end-uses.
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