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Fruit quality trait discovery and metabolic profiling in sweet cherry genebank collection in Greece

Evangelos Karagiannis, Eirini Sarrou, Michail Michailidis, Georgia Tanou, Ioannis Ganopoulos, Christos Bazakos, Konstantinos Kazantzis, Stefan Martens, Aliki Xanthopoulou, Athanassios Molassiotis

The current study characterizes the physicochemical, sensory and bioactive compound traits of twenty-two sweet cherry accessions, namely breeding lines, landraces and modern cultivars, embodying the majority of Greek germplasm. The evaluated accessions differ in several quality traits including colour parameters and textural properties as well as sensory attributes, such as taste intensity and overall acceptance. Significant dif- ferences in primary metabolites, including fructose, glucose, sorbitol, malic acid were recorded among tested accessions. All genotypes were rich in polyphenols, primarily in quercetin-3,4-O-diglucoside, esculetin, rutin and neochlorogenic acid. An anthocyanins-related discrimination among accessions was also obtained based on cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside and peonidin glycosides content. Overall, the cultivars ‘Tsolakeika’ and ‘Bakirtzeika’ exhibited the higher consumer acceptance while the cultivars ‘Vasiliadi’ and ‘Tragana Edessis-Naousis’ and especially the breeding line ‘TxAg33’ contained high polyphenol levels. These results represent a valuable re- source for future breeding efforts for sweet cherry cultivars with improved nutritional quality traits.