Argan tree (Argania spinosa L. skeels) vegetative propagation by cutting and grafting
The argan tree (Argania spinosa L. skeels) is an endemic species of Morocco that plays an important socio-economic role through the value of its oil. Despite the importance of the species, the main propagation method is still by seed, which presents several disadvantages including a long juvenile phase and high genetic variability between plants. The aim of this work is to study (1) the genotype and source of calcium (CaCl2 and Ca(NO3)2) effects on the cutting yield, (2) the effect of the rootstock and the graft genotype on the grafting method’s success and finally (3) compare between both methods for argan massive propagation. The results showed an important genotype effect on the cutting. In fact, each of the four propagated genotypes reacted differently to this propagation method. The calcium treatment did not improve the cutting rooting whereas its disinfectant effect depended on the genotype. The grafting success depended mainly on the graft/rootstock compatibility, but little on the graft genotype and not at all on the rootstock genotype. The comparison between the two propagation methods showed that grafting is more suitable for argan tree propagation. The highest success rate reached through the cutting was 66.7 % with the best genotype whereas by grafting the best rate was off 95.8% obtained in two of the twelve tested graft/rootstock combinations.
Keywords: Argan, Argania spinosa, vegetative propagation, cutting, grafting