New Clones and Old Varieties: Quality of Sicilian Hillside Apple Cultivation

Roberta Passafiume1, Ilenia Tinebra1, Giuseppe Sortino1, Eristanna Palazzolo1, Vittorio Farina1, *
1 Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences (SAAF), University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Palermo, Italy

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Creative Commons License
© 2021 Passafiume et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences (SAAF), University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Palermo, 90128, Italy; E-mail:



The aim of this study is to evaluate the qualitative characteristics of the new clones according to the Mediterranean hillside growing environment and, at the same time, to highlight the qualitative peculiarities of the old varieties in order to avoid genetic loss.


Several apple varieties are constantly selected for improved quality traits and introduced for cultivation and marketing in addition to a few traditional and affirmed varieties. On the other side, local genotype and ancient varieties are still valorised due to the request of a niche market.


We have studied the physico-chemical quality and the sensory traits of the fruit obtained in this particular environment.


Our study reveals a qualitative response to the environment in a genotype-dependent manner. As expected, the physico-chemical characteristics favour the new clones.


Both old varieties and new clones of apple fruit, grown in the Mediterranean area, turned out to be of high quality. Nevertheless, results revealed the better characteristics of new clones for commercialization in large-scale supply chain.

Keywords: Apple, Germplasm, Varietal renewal, Genetic loss, Biodiversity, Sensory analyses.